A Good Life, An Authentic Life

Tomáš Sobek


We have three main theories of well-being. The first theory is hedonism. It is the thesis that individual well-being wholly depends on how he feels. Well-being simply consists in pleasure. What is good for him is the enjoyable experiences in his life. And what is bad for him is the suffering in his life. The best life is that with the greatest balance of pleasure over pain. The second one is the desire theory. It means that something is good for someone because it fulfils his desire. He is better off insofar as he gets what he wants. Briefly, well-being consists in the realization of subjective preferences. The third theory of well-being is perfectionism. It is the view that the development of certain characteristically human capacities is good. These capacities include, in the first place, our rationality, both theoretical and practical. Well-being consists in the self-perfection, in a life of excellent or virtuous activity, or well-functioning as human being. Endeavours such as achievements, knowledge, aesthetical experience, parenting and close friendships constitute our human flourishing. In this paper I conclude, that these three rival theories represent different conceptions of authenticity.


hedonism; desire; preferences; well-being; self-perfection; authenticity


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