A Philosophy for the Science of Well-Being

Author: Anna Alexandrova

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199300518

Category: Philosophy

Page: 240

View: 9468

Well-being, happiness and quality of life are now established objects of social and medical research. Does this science produce knowledge that is properly about well-being? What sort of well-being? The definition and measurement of these objects rest on assumptions that are partly normative, partly empirical and partly pragmatic, producing a great diversity of definitions depending on the project and the discipline. This book, written from the perspective of philosophy of science, formulates principles for the responsible production and interpretation of this diverse knowledge. Traditionally, philosophers' goal has been a single concept of well-being and a single theory about what it consists in. But for science this goal is both unlikely and unnecessary. Instead the promise and authority of the science depends on it focusing on the well-being of specific kinds of people in specific contexts. Skeptical arguments notwithstanding, this contexual well-being can be measured in a valid and credible way - but only if scientists broaden their methods to make room for normative considerations and address publicly and inclusively the value-based conflicts that inevitably arise when a measure of well-being is adopted. The science of well-being can be normative, empirical and objective all at once, provided that we line up values to science and science to values.

A Philosophy for the Science of Well-Being

Author: Anna Alexandrova

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190677228

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 2619

Well-being, happiness and quality of life are now established objects of social and medical research. Does this science produce knowledge that is properly about well-being? What sort of well-being? The definition and measurement of these objects rest on assumptions that are partly normative, partly empirical and partly pragmatic, producing a great diversity of definitions depending on the project and the discipline. This book, written from the perspective of philosophy of science, formulates principles for the responsible production and interpretation of this diverse knowledge. Traditionally, philosophers' goal has been a single concept of well-being and a single theory about what it consists in. But for science this goal is both unlikely and unnecessary. Instead the promise and authority of the science depends on it focusing on the well-being of specific kinds of people in specific contexts. Skeptical arguments notwithstanding, this contexual well-being can be measured in a valid and credible way - but only if scientists broaden their methods to make room for normative considerations and address publicly and inclusively the value-based conflicts that inevitably arise when a measure of well-being is adopted. The science of well-being can be normative, empirical and objective all at once, provided that we line up values to science and science to values.

A Philosophy for the Science of Well-Being

Author: Anna Alexandrova

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199300526

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 8812

Well-being, happiness and quality of life are now established objects of social and medical research. Does this science produce knowledge that is properly about well-being? What sort of well-being? The definition and measurement of these objects rest on assumptions that are partly normative, partly empirical and partly pragmatic, producing a great diversity of definitions depending on the project and the discipline. This book, written from the perspective of philosophy of science, formulates principles for the responsible production and interpretation of this diverse knowledge. Traditionally, philosophers' goal has been a single concept of well-being and a single theory about what it consists in. But for science this goal is both unlikely and unnecessary. Instead the promise and authority of the science depends on it focusing on the well-being of specific kinds of people in specific contexts. Skeptical arguments notwithstanding, this contexual well-being can be measured in a valid and credible way - but only if scientists broaden their methods to make room for normative considerations and address publicly and inclusively the value-based conflicts that inevitably arise when a measure of well-being is adopted. The science of well-being can be normative, empirical and objective all at once, provided that we line up values to science and science to values.

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being

Author: Guy Fletcher

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317402650

Category: Philosophy

Page: 546

View: 3608

The concept of well-being is one of the oldest and most important topics in philosophy and ethics, going back to ancient Greek philosophy. Following the boom in happiness studies in the last few years it has moved to centre stage, grabbing media headlines and the attention of scientists, psychologists and economists. Yet little is actually known about well-being and it is an idea that is often poorly articulated. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being provides a comprehensive, outstanding guide and reference source to the key topics and debates in this exciting subject. Comprising over 40 chapters by a team of international contributors, the Handbook is divided into six parts: well-being in the history of philosophy current theories of well-being, including hedonism and perfectionism examples of well-being and its opposites, including friendship and virtue and pain and death theoretical issues, such as well-being and value, harm, identity and well-being and children well-being in moral and political philosophy well-being and related subjects, including law, economics and medicine. Essential reading for students and researchers in ethics and political philosophy, it is also an invaluable resource for those in related disciplines such as psychology, politics and sociology.

The Philosophy of Well-Being

An Introduction

Author: Guy Fletcher

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317594843

Category: Philosophy

Page: 178

View: 7270

Well-being occupies a central role in ethics and political philosophy, including in major theories such as utilitarianism. It also extends far beyond philosophy: recent studies into the science and psychology of well-being have propelled the topic to centre stage, and governments spend millions on promoting it. We are encouraged to adopt modes of thinking and behaviour that support individual well-being or 'wellness'. What is well-being? Which theories of well-being are most plausible? In this rigorous and comprehensive introduction to the topic, Guy Fletcher unpacks and assesses these questions and many more, including: Are pleasure and pain the only things that affect well-being? Is desire-fulfilment the only thing that makes our lives go well? Can something be good for someone who does not desire it? Is well-being fundamentally connected to a distinctive human nature? Is happiness all that makes our lives go well? Is death necessarily bad for us? How is the well-being of a whole life related to well-being at particular times? Annotated further reading and study and comprehension questions follow each chapter, and a glossary of key terms is also included, making The Philosophy of Well-Being essential reading for students of ethics and political philosophy. This title is also suitable for those in related disciplines such as psychology, politics and sociology.

The Science of Well-being

Author: Felicia A. Huppert,Nick Baylis,Barry Keverne

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198567529

Category: Psychology

Page: 546

View: 2989

How much do we know about what makes people thrive and societies flourish? While a vast body of research has been dedicated to understanding problems and disorders, we know remarkably little about the positive aspects of life, the things that make life worth living. This landmark volume heralds the emergence of a new field of science that endeavours to understand how individuals and societies thrive and flourish, and how this new knowledge can be applied to foster happiness, health and fulfillment, and institutions that encourage the development of these qualities. Taking a dynamic, cross-disciplinary approach, it sets out to explore the most promising routes to well-being, derived from the latest research in psychology, neuroscience, social science, economics and the effects of our natural environment. Designed for a general readership, this volume is of compelling interest to all those in the social, behavioural and biomedical sciences, the caring professions and policy makers. It provides a stimulating overview for any reader with a serious interest in the latest insights and strategies for enhancing our individual well-being, or the well-being of the communities in which we live and work.

The Good Life

Unifying the Philosophy and Psychology of Well-being

Author: Michael A. Bishop

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199923116

Category: Philosophy

Page: 235

View: 6809

Philosophers defend theories of what well-being is but ignore what psychologists have learned about it. And psychologists learn about well-being but lack a theory of what it is. In 'The Good Life: Unifying the Philosophy and Psychology of Well-Being', Michael A. Bishop marries these complementary investigations, and the result is a powerful, new framework for understanding well-being and the good life.

Happiness

The Science Behind Your Smile

Author: Daniel Nettle

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191604747

Category: Psychology

Page: 224

View: 9493

What exactly is happiness? Can we measure it? Why are some people happy and others not? And is there a drug that could eliminate all unhappiness? People all over the world, and throughout the ages, have thought about happiness, argued about its nature, and, most of all, desired it. But why do we have such a strong instinct to pursue happiness? And if happiness is good in itself, why haven't we simply evolved to be happier? Daniel Nettle uses the results of the latest psychological studies to ask what makes people happy and unhappy, what happiness really is, and to examine our urge to achieve it. Along the way we look at brain systems, at mind-altering drugs, and how happiness is now marketed to us as a commodity. Nettle concludes that while it may be unrealistic to expect lasting happiness, our evolved tendency to seek happiness drives us to achieve much that is worthwhile in itself. What is more, it seems to be not your particular circumstances that define whether you are happy so much as your attitude towards life. Happiness gives us the latest scientific insights into the nature of our feelings of well-being, and what these imply for how we might live our lives.

Happiness and Education

Author: Nel Noddings

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521807630

Category: Education

Page: 308

View: 3324

Explores what we might teach if we take happiness seriously as an aim of education.

Well-being for Public Policy

Author: Ed Diener

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0195334078

Category: Psychology

Page: 245

View: 7773

In this volume, the authors explain the reasons why subjective indicators of well-being are needed. They describe how these indicators can offer useful input and provide examples of policy uses of well-being measures. The book then delves into objections to the use of subjective well-being indicators for policy purposes and discusses why these objections are not warranted. Finally, the book contains answers pertaining to the measures that are currently in use and describes the types of measures that are most likely to be valuable in the policy domain. At the most ambitious, even audacious, level, Well-Being for Public Policy has the potential of transforming society by making people and policy more concerned about well-being, and less concerned about economics and income. The existence of national measures of well-being would draw more interest to the rewarding and problem areas of life, and serve to give a broader focus to societal decisions. National accounts of well-being could reorient societies so that social values, the environment, enjoyable work, and physical and emotional health are given prominence along with economic development. This book is an invaluable treatise on current understanding of the complex relationship between well-being and public policy-- it will be of great interest to researchers in the fields of psychology and economics.

How Well Do Facts Travel?

The Dissemination of Reliable Knowledge

Author: Peter Howlett,Mary S. Morgan

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 113949239X

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 8929

This book discusses how facts travel, and when and why they sometimes travel well enough to acquire a life of their own. Whether or not facts travel in this manner depends not only on their character and ability to play useful roles elsewhere, but also on the labels, packaging, vehicles and company that take them across difficult terrains and over disciplinary boundaries. These diverse stories of travelling facts, ranging from architecture to nanotechnology and from romance fiction to climate science, change the way we see the nature of facts. Facts are far from the bland and rather boring but useful objects that scientists and humanists produce and fit together to make narratives, arguments and evidence. Rather, their extraordinary abilities to travel well shows when, how and why facts can be used to build further knowledge beyond and away from their sites of original production and intended use.

The Moral Landscape

How Science Can Determine Human Values

Author: Sam Harris

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 143917122X

Category: Religion

Page: 307

View: 8685

Calls for an end to religion's role in dictating morality, demonstrating how the scientific community's understandings about the human brain may enable the establishment of secular codes of behavior.

Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being

Author: Jon Elster,John E. Roemer

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521457224

Category: Philosophy

Page: 400

View: 6231

In this volume a diverse group of economists, philosophers, political scientists, and psychologists address the problems, principles, and practices involved in comparing the well-being of different individuals. A series of questions lie at the heart of this investigation: What is the relevant concept of well-being for the purposes of comparison? How could the comparisons be carried out for policy purposes? How are such comparisons made now? How do the difficulties involved in these comparisons affect the status of utilitarian theories? This collection constitutes the most advanced and comprehensive treatment of one of the cardinal issues in social theory.

Assessing Well-Being

The Collected Works of Ed Diener

Author: Ed Diener

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9048123542

Category: Psychology

Page: 274

View: 4001

The Sandvik, Diener, and Seidlitz (1993) paper is another that has received widespread attention because it documented the fact that self-report well-being scales correlate with a number of other methods of measuring the same concepts, such as with reports by knowledgeable “informants” (family and friends), expe- ence sampling measurement, and the memory for good versus bad life events. A single factor was found to underlie measures using different methods, and a n- ber of different well-being self-report measures were found to correlate with the non-self-report measures. Thus, although the self-report measures of well-being are imperfect, and can be in uenced by response artifacts, they have substantial validity as shown by their correlations with measurements based on alternative methods. Whereas the Pavot and Diener article reviewed the Satisfaction with Life Scale, the Lucas, Diener, and Larsen (2003) paper reviews various approaches to assessing positive emotions. As we wrote in the chapter in this volume in which we present new measures, we do not consider any of the existing measures of positive affect to be entirely acceptable for measuring subjective well-being in the affect area, and that is why we have created and validated a new measure.

The Origins of Happiness

The Science of Well-Being over the Life Course

Author: Andrew E. Clark,Sarah Flèche,Richard Layard,Nattavudh Powdthavee,George Ward

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 140088912X

Category: Psychology

Page: 336

View: 7997

What makes people happy? Why should governments care about people’s well-being? How would policy change if well-being was the main objective? The Origins of Happiness seeks to revolutionize how we think about human priorities and to promote public policy changes that are based on what really matters to people. Drawing on a uniquely comprehensive range of evidence from longitudinal data on over one hundred thousand individuals in Britain, the United States, Australia, and Germany, the authors consider the key factors that affect human well-being. The authors explore factors such as income, education, employment, family conflict, health, childcare, and crime—and their findings are not what we might expect. Contrary to received wisdom, income inequality accounts for only two percent or less of the variance in happiness across the population; the critical factors affecting a person’s happiness are their relationships and their mental and physical health. More people are in misery due to mental illness than to poverty, unemployment, or physical illness. Examining how childhood influences happiness in adulthood, the authors show that academic performance is a less important predictor than emotional health and behavior, which is shaped tremendously by schools, individual teachers, and parents. For policymakers, the authors propose new forms of cost-effectiveness analysis that places well-being at center stage. Groundbreaking in its scope and results, The Origins of Happiness offers all of us a new vision for how we might become more healthy, happy, and whole.

Well-Being

Happiness in a Worthwhile Life

Author: Neera K. Badhwar

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199717338

Category: Philosophy

Page: 264

View: 4423

This book offers a new argument for the ancient claim that well-being as the highest prudential good -- eudaimonia --consists of happiness in a virtuous life. The argument takes into account recent work on happiness, well-being, and virtue, and defends a neo-Aristotelian conception of virtue as an integrated intellectual-emotional disposition that is limited in both scope and stability. This conception of virtue is argued to be widely held and compatible with social and cognitive psychology. The main argument of the book is as follows: (i) the concept of well-being as the highest prudential good is internally coherent and widely held; (ii) well-being thus conceived requires an objectively worthwhile life; (iii) in turn, such a life requires autonomy and reality-orientation, i.e., a disposition to think for oneself, seek truth or understanding about important aspects of one's own life and human life in general, and act on this understanding when circumstances permit; (iv) to the extent that someone is successful in achieving understanding and acting on it, she is realistic, and to the extent that she is realistic, she is virtuous; (v) hence, well-being as the highest prudential good requires virtue. But complete virtue is impossible for both psychological and epistemic reasons, and this is one reason why complete well-being is impossible.

The Pursuit of Unhappiness

The Elusive Psychology of Well-Being

Author: Daniel M. Haybron

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0199545987

Category: Philosophy

Page: 357

View: 2169

The first comprehensive philosophical treatment of happiness, Daniel Haybron challenges traditional views about the pursuit of happiness. Engaging heavily with the science of happiness, he argues for a rich psychology of well-being on which we are remarkably prone to err in matters of personal welfare. The Pursuit of Unhappiness invites us to rethink traditional assumptions about the good life and the good society, and will be an indispensable resourcefor philosophers, social scientists, and other students of well-being.

The Science of Good and Evil

Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule

Author: Michael Shermer

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9781429996754

Category: Psychology

Page: 368

View: 9946

From bestselling author Michael Shermer, an investigation of the evolution of morality that is "a paragon of popularized science and philosophy" The Sun (Baltimore) A century and a half after Darwin first proposed an "evolutionary ethics," science has begun to tackle the roots of morality. Just as evolutionary biologists study why we are hungry (to motivate us to eat) or why sex is enjoyable (to motivate us to procreate), they are now searching for the very nature of humanity. In The Science of Good and Evil, science historian Michael Shermer explores how humans evolved from social primates to moral primates; how and why morality motivates the human animal; and how the foundation of moral principles can be built upon empirical evidence. Along the way he explains the implications of scientific findings for fate and free will, the existence of pure good and pure evil, and the development of early moral sentiments among the first humans. As he closes the divide between science and morality, Shermer draws on stories from the Yanamamö, infamously known as the "fierce people" of the tropical rain forest, to the Stanford studies on jailers' behavior in prisons. The Science of Good and Evil is ultimately a profound look at the moral animal, belief, and the scientific pursuit of truth.

Thanks!

How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier

Author: Robert A. Emmons

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780547085739

Category: Psychology

Page: 244

View: 2456

A proponent of the field of positive psychology offers a close-up study of the positive influence on people's lives of the systematic cultivation of gratitude, explaining how the practice of grateful thinking can increase one's chances for happiness and help one cope more effectively with stress, recover more quickly from illness, enjoy better physical health, improve relationships, and other benefits. Reprint.

The Happiness Industry

How the Government and Big Business Sold us Well-Being

Author: William Davies

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1781688478

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 1492

In winter 2014, a Tibetan monk lectured the world leaders gathered at Davos on the importance of Happiness. The recent DSM-5, the manual of all diagnosable mental illnesses, for the first time included shyness and grief as treatable diseases. Happiness has become the biggest idea of our age, a new religion dedicated to well-being. In this brilliant dissection of our times, political economist William Davies shows how this philosophy, first pronounced by Jeremy Bentham in the 1780s, has dominated the political debates that have delivered neoliberalism. From a history of business strategies of how to get the best out of employees, to the increased level of surveillance measuring every aspect of our lives; from why experts prefer to measure the chemical in the brain than ask you how you are feeling, to why Freakonomics tells us less about the way people behave than expected, The Happiness Industry is an essential guide to the marketization of modern life. Davies shows that the science of happiness is less a science than an extension of hyper-capitalism.