Can the science of well-being be objective?

Well-being, health and freedom are among the many phenomena of interest to science whose definitions are based on a normative standard. Philosophers of science have already reconciled values with objectivity in several ways, but none of the existing proposals are suitable for mixed statements. As an object of science, well-being is unusual because its study is based on a normative standard. Even when there is the required theory that justifies this standard, profound disagreements about values can arise.

These disagreements seem to undermine this science's claim to objectivity. This is one of the reasons why philosophers of science have traditionally advocated the. This chapter proposes the notion of “mixed assertion” to denote scientific hypotheses that are based on both factual and normative categories. Argues against defenders of freedom of values, that mixed claims should not be removed from science.

Rather, we need principles that, if followed, can ensure procedural objectivity for mixed claims. These principles include making values explicit, proving the presence of disagreement, and subjecting controversial value assumptions to public deliberation that includes welfare experts, as well as the public whose welfare is in doubt. Wellness sciences, such as positive psychology and the economics of happiness, have increased over the past thirty years due to the dwindling influence of traditional economics, the rise of data-driven self-help, and enthusiasm for evidence-based policies. These trends have inevitably shaped the field, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

Sometimes the welfare sciences are humanistic, sometimes technocratic. My job as a philosopher of this science is not to fix it by philosophy, nor is it simply to describe its practice. Rather, my job is to participate in making this field more responsible, morally and methodologically, given the social and political environment in which it operates. So I see my work as a critical but comprehensive commitment to current attempts to study well-being.

In chapter 4 “Can the science of welfare be objective? I argue that the objectivity of this field does not lie in the freedom of values or in the search for the “true” theory of well-being. Rather, it lies in an open, responsible and thoughtful treatment of value judgments. The public justification of these judgments is the key to their reliability, and this is as much objectivity as can be expected from a science laden with values. There are measures of subjective well-being for Britons with Parkinson's disease, for adults with diabetes, for people in Singapore and many, many more.

But I also agree with Alexandrova's doubt about demanding too many scientists, with her desire to avoid treating philosophers as philosophers kings and queens philosophers, and with her aspirations to ensure the public reliability of science. Constructive pluralism, the fact that not all sciences share a construction of well-being, is a consequence of contextualism, although it is not necessary to believe in contextualism to accept it. However, you can't have everything, and the limitations that a welfare philosopher might see within this project could be overcome by Alexandrova's contributions to the science of welfare. But, as we know, the standard way to argue against such a theory is to develop counterexamples of people who seem to be doing well, even if they don't fit the philosopher's description of welfare, or vice versa.

She is particularly interested in the role and status of formal models in the special sciences and in the measurement of happiness and well-being. In fact, a central motivation of his project is the concern that philosophers working in the field of well-being are developing theories that are too abstract and general to be able to guide scientific research. First of all, what is a wellness philosophy? Why do you think it is useful to understand the history of welfare science, and can you outline for us what this story and its historical moments are like so far and how it ended up being institutionalized as it undoubtedly has been?. If a researcher has the resources to substantially impact the well-being of a subject, then this fact must inform the appropriate contrast class and, therefore, the correct threshold of well-being (e.g.

These assumptions serve as constraints to what can count as a plausible theory of child welfare and help us judge between higher theories. But as far as I can tell, all the areas where the notion of well-being is important are the areas where it is quite clear what suffering is. However, while it is clear how middle-level theories can inform the constructs and measures used in the scientific study of well-being, I am less clear as to the implications of philosophically considered middle-level theories. .


Estelle Palacios
Estelle Palacios

Proud zombie maven. Certified bacon specialist. Award-winning bacon maven. Lifelong tv junkie. Typical travel advocate.

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