Happiness Explained: What Human Flourishing Is and What We Can Do to Promote It

Happiness Explained: What Human Flourishing Is and What We Can Do to Promote It

Happiness Explained: What Human Flourishing Is and What We Can Do to Promote It

Happiness Explained: What Human Flourishing Is and What We Can Do to Promote It

Synopsis

What is human happiness and how can we promote it? These questions are central to human existence and Happiness Explained draws on scientific research from economics, psychology, and philosophy, as well as a range of other disciplines, to outline a new paradigm in which human flourishing plays a central role in the assessment of national and global progress. It shows why the traditional national income approach is limited as a measure of human wellbeing and demonstrates how the contributors to happiness, wellbeing, and quality of life can be measured and understood across the human life course. Discussing wide-ranging aspects, from parenting, decent employment, friendship, education, and health in old age, through to money, autonomy, and fairness, as well as personal strategies and governmental polices used in the pursuit of happiness, it offers a science-based understanding of human flourishing. Written by an economist involved in helping governmental organisations move 'beyond GDP', Happiness Explained shows how a wide range of factors that contribute to better and happier lives and how, together, they provide a new blueprint for the assessment of progress in terms of personal wellbeing.

Excerpt

In Happiness Explained I seek to show that, instead of focusing on money as our metric of progress, it is possible to ‘go beyond GDP’ by developing and analysing measures of human wellbeing. This is not to suggest we should forsake the material world or become Trappist monks but rather just to acknowledge the fact that there is, globally, growing interest in non-financial measures of life quality. For many who are comfortably off in financial terms, it seems a logical next step to ask whether material affluence is delivering the quality of life we seek, but success in the material realm is also having an effect on society’s hopes for those less fortunate. And there is a range of questions that follow. Am I able to get the balance between family and work that I want? What do I need in terms of personal growth and development? Will I be able to find decent employment when I need to? What career path is best suited for my skills? How can I look after my family and care for those with whom I am connected by various bonds of duty and commitment? Given the diversity of issues involved, it should not be surprising to find that no particular science seems to have a monopoly of wisdom when it comes to happiness and wellbeing. For these reasons, therefore, I offer, here, a short guide to a vast territory of research from economics through psychology to philosophy that can help us think about happiness and wellbeing both at an individual level and in a societal context.

It is natural to ask, early on, what we mean by terms such as happiness or wellbeing and as it happens, both can be traced back to the ancient Greek stem ‘eu’ meaning ‘well’. This root appears in words still used, such as eulogy (good words) and interest in it goes back to the ethical theory of eudaimonia (good spirit) developed by . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.