30 August 2011

Styles and species of well-being

Emotions have two dimensions: positive vs negative and superficial vs deep. 
A materialistic society may move people further to the positive than to the negative but at the cost, at the same time, of moving them away from the deep and toward the superficial. Furthermore, it could be the materialist approach might well reduce the swings of positive and negative feelings at the expense of lowering the average level of welfare. 
Another issue could be that there are various styles of happiness and welfare: satisfaction, fulfillment, contentment, joy, glory, etc. Material goods and services might well be able to be listed in a preference ordering, that is true, but the sorts of pleasure people derive from material consumption and production doesn't necessarily exhaust the full range of styles and species of fulfillment and well-being. 

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