Quality of Life

  • Storrs Mccall
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 26)


What is sought is a definition of Quality of Life (QOL). Other authors have defined QOL in terms of actual happiness or perceived satisfaction/dissatisfaction. The present paper defines it not as a summation of the individual happiness-states of all members of a society, but as the obtaining of the necessary conditions for happiness throughout a society. These conditions being necessary not sufficient, high QOL is compatible with actual unhappiness. The necessary conditions in question are identified with the availability of means for the satisfaction of human needs rather than human desires, and a Maslowian analysis of the former is proposed in default of any more satisfactory analysis. The paper concludes with a discussion of how maximizing need-satisfaction (as opposed to want-satisfaction) automatically guarantees fair distribution of needed goods. This ensures that in at least some respects high-QOL societies are societies characterized by justice.


Social Indicator Subjective Indicator Happy Life Social Indicator Research General Happiness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Storrs Mccall
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of PhilosophyMcGill UniversityEnvironment Canada
  2. 2.Advanced Concepts CentreEnvironment Canada

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