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Quality of Life

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The Concept

A judgment about quality of life means an evaluation of major aspects, or of the entirety, of a life situation, a life path or a society. The sister concept of well-being likewise involves an evaluation of a person’s or group’s situation, and can focus on any of many valued aspects of (a) life, or some set thereof, or their totality. Quality of life and well-being are thus broad and vague concepts, subject to interpretive and normative debate; each term is an umbrella for many more specific concepts, rather than a sharply and consensually defined single thing.

The term “well-being” is used more when we speak of individuals, and “quality of life” more when we speak of communities, localities, and societies. Similarly, “well-being” is used somewhat more to refer to actual experience, and “quality of life” more to refer to context and environments. But both terms are used with a broad range of meanings, and the ranges almost completely overlap, for the terms came from...

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Gasper, D. (2011). Quality of Life. In: Chatterjee, D.K. (eds) Encyclopedia of Global Justice. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_161

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