Hedonism and Desire Theory
In philosophy, the term welfare or well-being is used to describe how well someone’s life is going for him or her. Welfare is hard to pin down, but basically if something contributes positively to your welfare, then that is good for you, in your best interests, contributes positively to your well-being etc. For example, if a person ask “What contributes to welfare”; they want to know what makes a life go well or badly. There are many theories of welfare but the most typical ones are Hedonism and the desire-satisfaction theories. They are seen as archrivals in the contest over identifying what makes one’s life go best.
Both hedonism theory and desire theory are subjective theories of welfare. Hedonism theory stated that what is good is pleasure. When it comes to welfare, pleasure is a subjective mental state. To have a certain pleasure is to be in a mental state of enjoyment. You cannot have unconscious pleasure. There can’t be something that give you pleasure that you do not know about. Further more, Hedonist believes that all mental states are necessarily subjective (Sumner). The notion of subjectivity is tie to the notion of your point of view in the world. There are two types of Hedonism: motivational hedonism and normative hedonism. Motivational hedonism thinks that pleasure and pain are the motives for all actions. On the other hand, normative hedonism thinks that only pleasure has value, and only pain has disvalue non-instrumentally. To sum it all up, hedonism holds that happiness is a matter of raw subjective feeling. A happy life maximizes feelings of pleasure and minimizes pain. A happy person smiles a lot, is ebullient, bright eyed, and busy tailed; her pleasures are intense and many, her pains are few and far between. However, there are objections to hedonism. As Sumner stated, the first objection is called “non-such” objection. This means that there is no unified feature present in all of...