The usefulness of well-being temporalism

Journal of Economic Methodology 30 (4):322-336 (2022)
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It is an open question whether well-being ought to primarily be understood as a temporal concept or whether it only makes sense to talk about a person’s well-being over their whole lifetime. In this article, I argue that how this principled philosophical disagreement is settled does not have substantive practical implications for well-being science and well-being policy. Trying to measure lifetime well-being directly is extremely challenging as well as unhelpful for guiding well-being public policy, while temporal well-being is both an adequate indirect measure of lifetime well-being, and an adequate focus for the purposes of improving well-being through public policy. Consequently, even if what we ought to care about is lifetime well-being, we should use temporal measures of well-being and focus on temporal well-being policies.

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Gil Hersch
Virginia Tech

Citations of this work

A new well‐being atomism.Gil Hersch & Daniel Weltman - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 107 (1):3-23.

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Model Evaluation: An Adequacy-for-Purpose View.Wendy S. Parker - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (3):457-477.
Well‐Being And Time.J. David Velleman - 1991 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 72 (1):48-77.
Old and New Problems in Philosophy of Measurement.Eran Tal - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1159-1173.

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