Happiness and the Structure and Dynamics of Human Life

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Extant accounts of happiness and wellbeing have been insufficiently attentive to the fact that human lives have important structural and dynamic features. All the dominant theories, be it hedonism, preference or life satisfaction accounts or even Aristotelian theories of flourishing and the good life, are essentially list theories. They enumerate various features that might contribute to happiness, like pleasant experiences, satisfied preferences, positive judgments, personal character traits or social relations. Yet human lives are arguably more than neutral containers or bearers of things that are good and bad. The ways lives are lived and play out, the different forms they take, and the interrelations between different experiences and goods, might matter even more for happiness than the quality of the experiences, traits or events taken in isolation. I consider the view that the ‘narrative’ relations between events in a person’s life, as well as its form, are important elements in happiness or wellbeing, and argue, more generally, for a holistic approach to both the conceptualization and the assessment of human happiness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerspectives on Happiness : Concepts, Conditions and Consequences
EditorsSøren Harnow Klausen, Bryon Martin, Mustafa Cihan Camci, Sarah Bushey
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherBrill
Publication date9. Apr 2019
Pages88-97
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-39579-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9. Apr 2019
SeriesAt the Interface/Probing the Boundaries
Volume121
ISSN1570-7113

Keywords

  • Happiness
  • Wellbeing
  • Hedonism
  • Preference theories
  • Value theory

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Happiness and the Structure and Dynamics of Human Life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this