Texas A&M University
Campbell, Stephen Michael.
Degree: MA, Philosophy, 2006, Texas A&M University
Hedonism is not terribly popular as a theory of well-being. And there are good
reasons to question whether hedonism even supplies the best account of happiness. Yet
hedonism captures something important, and it will be the goal of this essay to articulate
just what that is. I suggest that hedonism provides the best account of phenomenal wellbeing
(PWB). PWB is a restricted form of well-being that relates to the quality of the
experience of a lifeÂor, in other words, the quality of oneÂs phenomenal life. If wellbeing
is characterized as Âhow well oneÂs life goes,Â then PWB is Âhow well oneÂs life
goes for her, from the inside.Â In rating a lifeÂs PWB, the life is judged solely on the
basis of the contents of the experience of that life rated against the experience of the
individualÂs other possible lives. Unlike well-being, PWB is guaranteed to track more
robust experiential benefits that a person gets out of living a life.
In this work, I discuss the concept of well-being, including the feature of subjectrelativity
that is sometimes ascribed to it; then, after introducing the concept of a
phenomenal life, I develop the concept of phenomenal well-being. I propose what I take
to be the best available account of PWB, which involves the hedonistic concept of
satisfaction. An epistemic model of life-comparison (inspired by Peter RailtonÂs full information account of well-being) on which phenomenal lives are judged on the
criterion of satisfaction is presented, followed by some objections, and replies, to PWB
as satisfaction. Finally, some rival accounts of PWB are discussed and
critiquedÂnotably, an account of cognitive life-satisfaction that resembles theories of
Âlife-satisfactionÂ in happiness theory. The claim is that hedonism supplies the best
answer to what makes the experience of our lives go best for us. In the closing chapter, I
make some suggestions concerning the significance of this fact.
Advisors/Committee Members: Varner, Gary E. (advisor), Grau, James (committee member), LeBuffe, Michael L. (committee member), Radzik, Linda C. (committee member).
Subjects/Keywords: well-being; hedonism
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Campbell, S. M. (2006). Phenomenal well-being. (Masters Thesis). Texas A&M University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1969.1/3834
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Campbell, Stephen Michael. “Phenomenal well-being.” 2006. Masters Thesis, Texas A&M University. Accessed October 24, 2020.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Campbell, Stephen Michael. “Phenomenal well-being.” 2006. Web. 24 Oct 2020.
Campbell SM. Phenomenal well-being. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. Texas A&M University; 2006. [cited 2020 Oct 24].
Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1969.1/3834.
Council of Science Editors:
Campbell SM. Phenomenal well-being. [Masters Thesis]. Texas A&M University; 2006. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1969.1/3834