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In ordinary speech, “well-being” is often used interchangeably with such terms as “health,” “happiness,” and “prosperity” (see Happiness). To be concerned about someone's well-being is to care whether he is doing or faring well. The word “well” that appears in these expressions plays an evaluative role – it is the adverbial form of the adjective “good,” and of course “good” is a grade we use to evaluate things. If someone is well-off, his life is good. Hence, it is not surprising that we commonly move back and forth so easily between “well-being” and such terms as “health,” “happiness,” and “prosperity”: most people assume that the life of a human being is a good one – that someone living such a life is faring well – only if it has at least some measure of these goods.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe International Encyclopedia of Ethics
EditorsHugh Lafollette
PublisherWiley Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9781444367072
StatePublished - 2013


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