On Quality of Life and the Pursuit of Happiness
Clarification of the concept of the quality of life as the ultimate yardstick for evaluating social policies is essential to any meaningful application of it. There are two basic dimensions: (1) the artistic, relating to excellence, and (2) the hedonic, consisting of what people-in-general desire to be happy, or idiosyncratic needs, and of psychological mood. Because man lives a substantially generic and not effectively atomistic life, significance in evaluating social programs lies with consensus happiness requisites. Of these, interpersonal social interrelationships are not socially actionable. There remains a limited number of requisites within the sphere of society acting through the agency of the state, among them health, education, political freedom, equality, and privacy. The prospect remains, however, that a society in which many achieve what most people regard as basic requisites to happiness may yet fail to be altogether happy.