Well-being

TeachingAwards2017_nominations_Website_Section_Header_1140px_by_242pxI teach the honors course on the philosophy of well-being at the University of Edinburgh, School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences (semester 1, academic year 2017/2018).

For this course, I have been nominated “Best Overall Teacher” by the Edinburgh University Students’ Association.

Class Readings and Topics

Listed below are the topics and readings for each seminar.

  1. Theories of Well-Being 1: Hedonism, Desire-Fulfillment theory, and Objective list theories

Core Readings

  • Fletcher, G. (2016) The Philosophy of Well-Being: An Introduction (chapter 1).
  • Plato, Protagoras, 351b-359a.

Secondary Readings

  • Brown, E. (2016) “Plato on well-being”, in Fletcher, G. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being (Routledge).
  • Fletcher, G. (2016) The Philosophy of Well-Being: An Introduction (chapters 2-3).
  1. Theories of Well-Being 2: Eudaimonism and Perfectionist theories

Core Readings

  • Fletcher, G. (2016) The Philosophy of Well-Being: An Introduction (chapters 4 and 5)
  • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book 1.

Secondary Readings

  • Kraut, R. (2016) “Aristotle on well-being”, in Fletcher, G. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being (Routledge).
  • Baracchi, C. (2008). Aristotle ‘s Ethics as First Philosophy (CUP), pp. 79-101; 295-305.
  1. Positive psychology on happiness and well-being

Core Readings

  • Fredrickson, B. L. (2001) “The role of positive emotions in positive psychology. The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions”, American Psychologist, 56: 218–225.
  • Haybron, D. (2007). “Life Satisfaction, Ethical Reflection and the Science of Happiness’’, The Journal of Happiness Studies 8: 99–138.

Secondary Readings

  • Bishop, A. (2015) The good life: Unifying the philosophy and psychology of well-being, (OUP), chapter 2.

Watch the documentary “Happy”(R. Belic, 2013)

  1. Well-Being, friendship, and gratitude

Core Readings

  • Bishop A. (2015) The good life: Unifying the philosophy and psychology of well-being, (OUP), chapters 1 and 4
  • Isen, A. M., Levin, P. F. (1972) “Effect on feeling good on helping”, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 21 (3): 384-388.

Secondary Readings

  • Chih-Che, L. (2016). “The roles of social support and coping style in the relationship between gratitude and well-being”, Personality and Individual Differences 89: 1318.
  • Jeske, D. (2016) “Friendship and well-being”, in Fletcher, G. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being (Routledge).
  • Wood, A. M., Froh, J. J., & Geraghty, A. W. (2010). “Gratitude and well-being: A review and theoretical integration”, Clinical Psychology Review, 30: 890–905.

Watch the documentary “Human” (extended version vol. 1) (Y. Arthus-Bertrand, 2015)

5 and 6. Case studies and applied ethics (small-groups work)

Choose one of these topics and read the related readings:

a. Well-Being and Health

Hawkins, J. (2014) “Well-Being, Time and Dementia”, Ethics, 507-542.

Mitchell, D. P. (1995) “Postmodernism, health, and illness”, Journal of Advanced Nursing 23: 201-205.

Penedo, F. J., & Dahn, J. R. (2005). “Exercise and well-being: A review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity”, Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 18: 189–193.

McKie, A., Swinton, J. (2000). “Community, culture, and character: the place of the virtues in psychiatric nursing practice”, Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 7: 35–42.

b. Well-Being and Disability

Barnes, E. (2014) ‘Valuing Disability, Causing Disability’, Ethics, 125 (1), 88-113.

Kahane, G. & Savulescu, J. (2016) ‘Disability and Mere Difference’, Ethics, 126, 774-788.

Andrić, V. & Wündisch, J. (2015) ‘Is It Bad to Be Disabled? Adjudicating Between the Mere-Difference and the Bad-Difference Views of Disability’, Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, 9 (3),1–16.

c. Well-being, spirituality, and compassion

Van Direndonck D, Mohan K. (2006) “Some thoughts on spirituality and eudaimonic well‐being”, Mental Health, Religion and Culture 9(3): pp. 227–238.

Chadwick, R., Lown, B. (2016). “What do we need to sustain compassionate medical care?”, Medicine 44/10: 583-585.

Boellinghaus, I. et al. (2014). “The Role of Mindfulness and Loving-Kindness Meditation in Cultivating Self-Compassion and Other-Focused Concern in Health Care Professionals”, Mindfulness 5(2): 129-138.

Visser, J. A et al. (2017). “Existential Well-Being: Spirituality or Well-Being?”, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 205/3: 234-241.

Watch the talk delivered by D. Goleman “A force for good”

short version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGbBwMdDbmg

long version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLCrFRGkijM

d. Welfare and Economics

Angner, E. (2016) “Well-Being and economics”, in Fletcher, G. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being (Routledge).

Dorsey, D. (2016) “Welfarism”, in Fletcher, G. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being (Routledge).

Darwall, S. (2004) Welfare and Rational Care, PUP, chapter 1.

e. Well-being in the workplace

Gilbert, P. (2009). “Leading to Well-Being”, in Thompson, N., Bates, J. (eds.) Promoting Workplace Well-Being (Palgrave MacMillan).

Hayward, C., Taylor, J. (2011). “Eudaimonic Wellbeing: Its Importance and Relevance to Occupational Therapy for Humanity”, Occup. Ther. Int. 18 (2011) 133141.

Mitchell, L. (2016). “RBI Living Well: building an employee wellbeing philosophy, Occupational Health & Wellbeing 68/ 9.

Tehan, M. (2009). “Women-Friendly Workplaces”, in Thompson, N., Bates, J. (eds.) Promoting Workplace Well-Being (Palgrave MacMillan).

f. Non-human animals and earth’ well-being

Rice, C. M. “Well-being and animals”, in Fletcher, G. (ed.) Routledge

Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being (Routledge).

Gruen, L. (2015). Entangled Empathy (Lantern Books 2015), chapter 3.

Knight, K. W., Rosa, E. A. (2011). “The environmental efficiency of well-being: A cross-national analysis”, Social Science Research, 40/3: 931-949.

Watch the documentary “Tomorrow” (M. Laurent and C. Dyon 2015)

7. Perfectionism 1: in-depth analysis and criticism

Core Readings

  • Kraut, Richard (2007). What is Good and Why: The Ethics of Well-Being (Harvard University Press), pp. 131-148.
  • Sobel, D. (2011) ‘The Limits of the Explanatory Power of Developmentalism’, Journal of

Moral Philosophy, 7 (4), 517-527.

Secondary Readings

  • Bradford, G. (2016) ‘Perfectionism’ in Fletcher, G. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-being.
  • Dorsey, D. (2010), Three Arguments for Perfectionism. Noûs, 44: 59–79.
  1. Perfectionism 2: rationality and flourishing

Core Readings

  • Korsgaard, C. M. 2008. The Constitution of Agency: Essays on Practical Reason and Moral Psychology (OUP), chapter 4
  • Hurka, T. (1993) Perfectionism (OUP), chapter 3.

Secondary Readings

  • Candiotto, L. (2017) “Epistemic emotions: the building blocks of intellectual virtues”, Studi di Estetica 1/2017.
  • Hazlet, A. (2016) “Epistemic goods”, in Fletcher, G. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being (Routledge).

. Perfectionism 3: virtues and human capabilities

Core readings

  • Nussbaum, M. 2000. Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach (CUP), chapter 1 (sections: 4-5-6)
  • Nussbaum. M. 2011. Creating capabilities: the human development approach (Harvard University Press), chapter 7.

Secondary readings:

Baril, A. (2016) “Virtue and well-being”, in Fletcher, G. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being (Routledge).

Haybron, D. M. (2007), “Well-Being and Virtue’’, Journal of Ethics&Social Philosophy II:2.

Sen, A. (2005), “Human Rights and Capabilities,” Journal of Human Development, 6(2): 151–66.

9-10 Projects’ presentation and discussion