An improved whole life satisfaction theory of happiness?


  • Fred Feldman University of Massachusetts at Amherst (retired)



happiness, whole life satisfaction, actualism, hypotheticalism


Philosophers and others have been captivated by the idea that happiness may be understood to be “satisfaction with life as a whole.” For a person to be happy, according to this idea, is for that person to be satisfied with his or her life as a whole. The view has been developed in a variety of forms, but has been subjected to serious objection in every form. In a paper published in volume 1, number 1 of the International Journal of Wellbeing, Jussi Suikkanen presented what he took to be a new and improved form of Whole Life Satisfactionism. He tried to show that in his formulation, the theory overcomes objections that I have presented elsewhere. In the present paper, after describing the context in which Suikkanen’s proposal appears, I present what I take to be the central point of Suikkanen’s work. I mention some obscurities. I try to show no matter how these obscurities are resolved, the proposed view is still open to objections similar to ones already in the literature.



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Author Biography

Fred Feldman, University of Massachusetts at Amherst (retired)

Department of Philosophy Professor Emeritus