By BBC World Service
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Extra resources for A Guide To Improving Your Spoken English
Furthermore, as I will show in what follows, Kahneman defends a conception of happiness that is more closely aligned with preferentism than with either hedonism or eudaimonism. In ‘Objective Happiness,' he explicitly rejects a hedonistic conception of happiness. Perhaps all of these interpretations are correct—or at least correct insofar as they represent views that Kahneman has discussed with some enthusiasm in some place. ' 2 2 Daniel Kahneman, ‘Objective Happiness,’ in Kahneman, Diener, and Schwarz, eds (1999).
18 18 If the various domains of life were temporally separated so that, for example, Helen could focus on work from 9 to 5, and then on family life from 6 to 10, it would be possible to identify her happiness in a domain as the amount of happiness she enjoyed during the interval in which she was engaged in that domain. But, obviously, the important domains of life are not temporally separated in this way. Helen might be thinking about work during “family time,” and she might be thinking about personal problems while at her desk at work.
If she feels good, she is to input a positive number with higher numbers representing instants at which she feels better. If she feels bad, she is to input a negative number with lower numbers representing instants at which she feels worse. 38 numbers may have to be “rescaled” so that the numbers have certain further mathematical features. If she feels twice as good at t2 as she did at t1, then the number she inputs at t2 should be twice the number she inputs at t1. If the combination of how good she feels at t2 and how bad she feels at t3 is equal in value to feeling neither good nor bad, then the number she inputs at t3 should be just the negative of the number she inputs t2.