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Well-Doing: Personal Projects and the Social Ecology of Flourishing

  • Brian R. LittleEmail author
Chapter
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)

Abstract

Has research by psychologists truly advanced our understanding of human flourishing and the quality of lives? Some philosophers (e.g. Nussbaum, J Leg Stud 37(52):S81–S113, 2008)) are sceptical and believe that the models and methods of psychology obscure or ignore those features of lives constitutive of flourishing. I engage this debate by calling for a reformulation of how we study the quality of lives by focusing upon well-doing or felicitous action. Well-doing comprises the sustainable pursuit of core projects in our lives. A social ecological model of project pursuit is presented in which the stable and dynamic features of individuals and the contexts of their daily lives are highlighted. Research on the social ecology of well-doing provides a thickly textured and granular level of analysis of how people craft their lives. It opens up a research agenda in which philosophers and psychologists can find congenial intellectual company and common purpose.

Keywords

Happiness Well-being Eudaimonia Personal projects 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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