Do Fitting Emotions Tell Us Anything About Well-Being?

Utilitas 32 (1):118-125 (2020)
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Abstract
In a recent paper in this journal, Tobias Fuchs has offered a ‘working test’ for well-being. According to this test, if it is fitting to feel compassion for a subject because they have some property, then the subject is badly off because they have that property. Since subjects of deception seem a fitting target for compassion, this test is said to imply that a number of important views, including hedonism, are false. I argue that this line of reasoning is mistaken: seems fitting does not imply is badly off. I suggest that Fuchs’s test can tell us little about well-being that we do not already know; and ultimately, tests of the sort he proposes can yield little insight into the nature of well-being.
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