According to the desire-fulfilment theory, a person has a good life if and only if they have the kind of life that they themselves want to have. The only thing that has positive final value for a person is that their intrinsic desires are fulfilled, and the only thing that has negative final value for a person is that their (intrinsic) aversions are fulfilled, that is, that they get what they do not want. This is not a mental state theory, since whether a desire is actually satisfied depends in part on the state of the world. Finally, according to objectivist pluralism (the objective list theory, or the substantive good theory), there are several objective values (besides pleasure or happiness) that make a life good for a person, independently of what they themselves think of the matter, and to have a good life is to have these values present to a high degree.


Classical examples of such alleged objective values are knowledge, contact with reality, friendship, love, freedom, autonomy, to function well, personal development, meaningful work and rational activity. Health or empowerment are other possibilities, but these values are most often regarded as instrumental.


There are also mixed theories. The modified happiness theories are good examples of such theories, for example, the idea that a life cannot be really good for the person who lives it unless the cognitive part of their happiness (the positive value judgement) is informed and autonomous, or the idea that a state of happiness is more valuable for the happy person if the relevant value judgement is based on true beliefs about her own life. On these mixed views (which are all based on the hybrid view of the nature of happiness), the presence of a happy mental state is necessary but not sufficient for maximal well-being, that is, these theories require that the happiness in question satisfies certain further criteria.