Well-Being as Fitting Happiness

In Christopher Howard & Richard Rowland (eds.), Fittingness: Essays in the Philosophy of Normativity. Oxford, UK: pp. 267-289 (2022)
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There is an intuitive connection between well-being and happiness. Accordingly, many theories of well-being hold that well-being consists in (either unqualified or properly qualified) happiness. Traditional happiness-based theories are subject, however, to several important objections. The goal in this chapter is to offer a new happiness-based theory that is immune to the main objections raised against traditional happiness-based theories. The authors’ own fitting happiness theory of well-being can be seen as the combination of the following claims. The first is that happiness consists in a broadly positive balance of affective states such as emotions, moods, and sensory pleasures. The second is that emotions, moods, and sensory pleasures are different kinds of perceptual experiences of evaluative properties. The third claim is that, insofar as happiness is constituted by states that have fittingness conditions, it is possible to assess happiness itself as fitting or unfitting. The last claim is that well-being consists in fitting happiness thus defined.

Author Profiles

Mauro Rossi
Université du Québec à Montréal
Christine Tappolet
Université de Montréal


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