This way of thinking treats preferences, choices, or tastes as private, individual, unconditioned, and arbitrary. Even abstract preferences, such as the desire for security or freedom, are considered to be formed inside each individual. According to utilitarian theory, QOL involves the satisfaction of the desires of individuals, and the good society is defined as one that provides the maximum satisfaction or positive experiences for its citizens. (Utilitarianism is not limited to crude materialism. It is open to the possibility that generosity and altrustic behavior can be satisfying.)
Source: Clifford W. Cobb, "Measurement Tools and the Quality of Life" (Redefining Progress Working Paper, 2000), pg. 7.


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