30.9. Mitchell (King’s College, London) & Alexandrova (Cambridge)

Well-Being and Pluralism

In this paper, we argue that a genuinely joined-up philosophy and science of well-being needs to embrace pluralism. Tendencies towards conceptual and methodological monism in well-being scholarship, which are clearly visible in the rising prominence and application of the construct of life-satisfaction, are, we argue, worrying and misguided. Our concerns are not merely academic—constructs and measures of well-being are increasingly used as a decision-making tool in healthcare and public policy, and the consequences of using tools which fail to take seriously the conceptual complexity and epistemic uncertainty of well-being and its measurement have the potential to be widespread and grave.