ZOOLOGY AND HUMAN WELFARE
by HOWARD M. PARSHLEY
WHAT is human welfare?
Deep thinkers have answered this question in a great variety of ways, each trying to catch the elusive essence of the Good, and few succeeding in such wise as others can understand and agree with. In recent years, however, a tendency is observable among philosophers to accept what Bertrand Russell calls the Good Life as the practical expression of human welfare and as the essential element in any valid definition of the phrase. From concern with abstractions, such as other-worldly ideals, the summum bonum, and the greatest good of the greatest number, we are thus brought to a primary regard for individual happiness, for the successful life of the individual. This point of view, once agreed upon, helps us to define human welfare in simple, honest, and scientific fashion and, in consequence, to detect and modify the factors which affect it.
Let us agree that welfare requires conditions of life that are reasonably favorable with regard to health, wealth, social relations, and intellectual outlook. Exceptional individuals, to be sure, may fare best under certain handicaps or may require some peculiar favor from fate; but certainly the conditions we have mentioned are, in general, the requisites for living the good life.
What is zoology?