‘That which is ultimately good for her' expresses that:
- Well-being is an end, not a means
- It is evaluated over a person's entire lifetime, not for a glimpse of the moment
- Well-being is an evaluative term.
- Well-being concerns an individual's personal good and not what is good for others or animals or nature or deity.
Bad choices are made for at least three reasons. First, people are misinformed about the objects of their preferences. Second, I may have a perfectly rational and well-informed preference but for whatever reason fail to act on it. Third, I might prefer states of affairs that do not affect her wellbeing or that make him worse rather than better off.
Some philosophers have therefore proposed that preferences undergo a process of cleansing before they are counted as advancing well-being. Ill-informed and inconsistent preferences are meant to be ruled out in this way. The result is called an ‘informed', ‘rational' or ‘laundered' preference ordering.Hedonism is the theory that well-being consists in a mental state such as pleasure or happiness. Hedonism is a truly ancient theory of well-being, having been discussed in Plato's Protagoras first. It is the view of well-being that underlies the classical utilitarianism (see Chapter 14) of Jeremy Bentham, James and John Stuart Mill and Henry Sidgwick, though the three had different views of what mental states are regarded as constitutive of well-being.