In the utilitarian tradition, well-being is conceived as what is ultimately (non-instrumentally) good for a person. Since the right is defined as a function of the good, and well-being is conceived as the good, well-being is also considered as an input to moral theory that is not itself shaped by prior moral assumptions and provides reasons to act that are independent of concern for others, and moral concerns.
The idea of well-being as the ultimate, context independent, “good for individuals” has been accepted by many philosophers rejecting utilitarianism. Here I argue against such conception and maintain that the contribution of philosophy to the debate on digital well-being is not to determine a singular concept of well-being, which can be applied to all contexts, but to help with comparisons between lives and actions, particularly those that are affected by information environments.
Thus, I distinguish four different concept-types of well-being, where each type corresponds to a different moral/political purpose: (1) a rights-related concept-type, (2) a market-based concept-type, (3) an emotional-functioning concept-type, 4) an information-related concept-type.