Edited by Luigino Bruni and Pier Luigi Porta
Chapter 11: Leading a life of quality: conceptualizing quality of life
What does it mean to lead a life of quality? This chapter recognizes the importance of discussing measurement issues in the study of people’s quality of life; however, it argues that conceptualization must come first. In other words, thinking about what quality of life is and providing a rationale for its assessment must precede and shape up its measurement. Hence, the chapter does not aim to contribute to the proliferation of quality-of-life indices; its intention is to provide a rationale for the understanding of quality of life. The rationale starts from a basic postulate: human beings have both intrinsic and extrinsic value. These values give rise to two qualities in a person’s life: an inner and an outer quality of life. The chapter states that leading a life of quality requires from people not only to be happy (by leading a life of inner quality), but also to contribute – through their actions – to the happiness of others (by leading a life of outer quality).
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