Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series
Edited by Luigino Bruni and Pier Luigi Porta
Chapter 14: Quality of life and happiness: concepts and measures
The terms ‘quality-of-life’ and ‘happiness’ have different meanings; sometimes they are used as an umbrella term for all of value, and other times to denote special merits. This chapter is about the specific meanings of the terms. I distinguish four qualities of life, one of which is subjective appreciation with life. Next I distinguish four kinds of appreciation, one of which is ‘happiness’ in the limited sense of the word. On the basis of this conceptual differentiation I inspect what is measured by some current measures of quality of life. I discuss several weaknesses of these measures and show that quality of life cannot be measured comprehensively. The most comprehensive measure of quality of life is how long and happily people live, which is entirely measurable.
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