Philosophical Papers and Review

  • Abbreviation: Philos. Papers Rev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-663X
  • DOI: 10.5897/PPR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 39


Who lives a life worth living?

Finn Janning
C. de Sant Hermenegild 24, 1-2, 08006 Barcelona, Spain
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 10 January 2013
  •  Published: 30 April 2013


For years, philosophers have thought about what makes a life worth living. Recent research in psychology has put new light on that. This paper places itself in-between philosophy and psychology, and the thoughts about well-being. The title of this paper raises one question: Who lives a life worth living? Based on the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and subsidiary, recent studies in ‘positive psychology’, this work shows that the prerequisite for a life worth living is freedom; that is being free to enhance one’s capabilities. This form of freedom manifests itself as being strongly related to the logic of sense that is related to capacity. This relationship illustrate that a life can only be evaluated from its immanent mode of existence, and not by some transcendent ideas. Finally, this study discusses some of the differences between a philosophical approach and approaches like positive psychology. In conclusion, it is suggested that future debate about well-being should be less normative.

Key words: Well-being, freedom, sense, enhancement.