Motivationally Balancing Policy
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In response to Amitai Etzioni’s paper “Happiness Is the Wrong Metric” I argue several points. First, arguing against a view of humans as seeking only pleasure is a strawman, and ‘satisfiers’ should be more broadly understood as seeking to satisfy their preferences by maximizing utility. Second, the idea that humans have multiple motivations is not new, but is nevertheless important for understanding and guiding behavior. Third, the standard economic practice of methodological utility-maximization is beneficial in the short-term, while it has some potential downside in the long-term.
KeywordsMethodological utility-maximization Multiple commitment Motivations Public policy
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