A robust hybrid theory of well-being

Steven Wall, David Sobel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper articulates and defends a novel hybrid account of well-being. We will call our view a Robust Hybrid. We call it robust because it grants a broad and not subservient role to both objective and subjective values. In this paper we assume, we think plausibly but without argument, that there is a significant objective component to well-being. Here we clarify what it takes for an account of well-being to have a subjective component. Roughly, we argue, it must allow that favoring attitudes that are not warranted by the lights of objective values can ground benefits. Given this understanding, we show that there is an important and unrecognized expansion in the resources available to fully objectivist views: namely that such views can help themselves to the value of warranted love of objective goods. Such a move by the objectivist can help them respond to concerns that, on their view, a person’s well-being can be too alien to them. We next argue that, nonetheless, such objectivist views are still unconvincing due to their lack of a subjective component. This motivates a move from fully objective accounts to hybrid accounts. We show that many prominent hybrid theories in the literature are inadequate because they implausibly minimize the subjective component. This motivates a move to a robust hybrid view that has an expanded subjectivist component. We conclude with some remarks about the interrelation between the subjective and objective components in the hybrid account that we favor and a role for resonance in a theory of well-being other than serving as a hard constraint on any benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2829-2851
Number of pages23
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Desires
  • Hybrid
  • Objectivism
  • Parfit
  • Reasons
  • Subjectivism
  • Value
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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