Does increasing national happiness require decreasing freedom or determining social values?
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Weijers, D. M. (2017). Does increasing national happiness require decreasing freedom or determining social values? Presented at the Quality of Life Research Symposium: An Interdisciplinary Discussion, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, May 26, 2017.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11184
Some academics and policymakers have argued that happiness (or subjective well‐being) should be used as a goal for public policy. An important criticism of policy‐based attempts to increase happiness is that they will decrease the options for citizens to pursue their own version of the good life. I will argue that the pursuit of any reasonable policy goals necessarily involves some restrictions on freedom and some determining of social values. I will also argue that a comparison of the plausible goals for public policy reveals that happiness is no more a threat to freedom and reasonable pluralism about the good life than other plausible policy goals.
© 2017 the author