The relationship between welfare and freedom or autonomy raises rather different issues.
At first sight it seems that any intrinsic evaluation of freedom must lie outside of the preference satisfaction theory of welfare, and this in turn suggests that welfare and freedom should be seen as two distinct aspects of the individual's overall good (Alkire, 2002).
In this way, we can argue that the fully informed preference theory of welfare is capable of being extended to a plausible theory of personal good.
The move from individual to social welfare raises a number of issues over and above those identified at the individual level.
If the distinction between welfare and good at the individualistic level is maintained, welfarism is clearly still more contentious.
The move from individual welfare to social welfare also highlights the question of identifying the relevant population.
Following Broome (1991a) consider welfare (whatever its precise content) as being distributed over three dimensions--people, time and states of the world.
Welfare enters the normative political debate at two distinct levels.
The simple fact that the state should recognize and respond to considerations of welfare, says nothing about the nature of that recognition, or its implications for policy.
The first distinction to be made is that between a political commitment to individual welfare and a political commitment to social welfare.
At first glance it might seem that a commitment to individual welfare would lead to the politics of unanimity, with each individual able to veto actions which threatened her welfare; while a commitment to social welfare would allow of a greater flexibility in trading off one person's welfare against another's, with a more redistributive and interventionist result.
With this in mind, a further set of distinctions to be made concerns the form of the political commitment to welfare. The most obvious thing to do with the good is to maximize it; and it is hardly surprising that maximization plays a crucial role in the debate on the commitment to welfare.