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This original analysis of the World Values Survey waves of 2007, 2012 and 2018 reveals important relationships among political trust and satisfaction, happiness, views of corruption, local elections and activism from the last half of the Hu Jintao administration through the first five years of Xi Jinping's rule. These data shed new light on the deeper dynamics underlying the high and growing levels of trust in government documented in other studies. Among this report's more novel findings, we find increased trust in government coincides with decreased local electoral participation, suggesting that participation in local elections is not key to perceptions of regime legitimacy. Views of corruption and a sense of personal efficacy through non-institutionalized forms of political participation such as peaceful demonstrations appear more relevant. Thus, constraints on people's ability to engage in peaceful demonstrations are likely to negatively impact views of regime legitimacy. In addition, the report uncovers demographic variations in these dynamics, indicating that regime legitimacy is more precarious among citizens at the bottom of the socioeconomic hierarchy and among younger Chinese. Overall, these findings complicate existing explanations of regime legitimacy centring on economic performance, nationalism, responsiveness/adaptiveness and efforts to combat corruption.
The goal of the final chapter is to examine the central role of necessities in the epistemological, moral and political theory of An Essay of Human Understanding and of the Two Treatises of Government. A study of the former shows Locke’s preoccupation with classical moral questions such as happiness and the ‘good objects of desires’ and how necessities helped him to strike a balance between tradition and the new science. As a rule of thumb of proper conduct, knowledge of necessities leads to the preservation of life, a human being’s most important duty to God. His doctrine of necessities is what made it possible for Locke to develop the theory of the public good with which, it is argued, he attempted to defeat the egoist theory of self-interest. Examination of his conception of property and money through the lens of human necessities shows a certain ambiguity in Locke’s normative ideals. Nevertheless, my conclusion is that above other considerations underlying the capital-oriented ideals of the period, the last word of Locke’s political theory is the public good represented by preservation and convenience for the commonwealth and, when possible, for the whole of humanity.
Academics and policy makers in several countries have been advocating for measures of utility and happiness to replace income as indicators of development, and the paternalism that has dominated behavioural public policy to date is justified in that people often fail to choose in accordance with their own well-being. Yet the notion of utility has a somewhat confused history, meaning different things to different people at different times. Hume, for instance, aligned utility with public usefulness, Bentham with pleasure and pain, and Mill and modern welfare economists with pretty much anything. A possible reason why there are many different meanings attached to the concept of utility is because many people, much of the time, are not driven to maximise utility at all. That is, the pursuit of utility does not drive desires, but rather desires are antecedent. Moreover, desires are multifarious and vary across people. The policy maker’s role over the private realm of individual decision-making should not therefore be to strive to maximise utility, but rather to put in place conditions that facilitate people in the pursuit of their own conception of a desired life.
Ch 4: Flaubert’s L’éducation sentimentale and Un coeur simple are the subject of the fourth chapter, which examines the various ways in which the lyric representation of landscape can convey human happiness: an activity of free movement, as well as the creation of intimacy through spatial effects. This is a way of placing lyric effects outside the self, making it available to a reader who can reenact the imagining of happiness. This occurs despite Flaubert’s famous pessimism. Realism, which is so often connected to this attitude, achieves a kind of guide to how we can think of happiness.
Intro: The introduction surveys the definition of “lyric” and the aspects of lyric poetry and lyric episodes in prose that run throughout the book, such as slowness, suspension, detail, and person, along with irony and reasoning. It also sketches out the human abilities elicited by the examined texts.
From the Georgics of Virgil to Flaubert's landscapes of happiness, Ullrich Langer argues that lyric representation holds a particular power to address our humanity. Ranging across a vast chronology, the book investigates how such poetry and prose activates our capacities for empathy, equity, irony and reasoning, while educating us in pleasure and helping us comprehend death. Each chapter constitutes a fresh encounter with some of the most celebrated texts of European literary history, demonstrating how the lyrical works, and what it elicits in us. Through deft rhetorical and philological analysis, the study presents the value of literary studies for both ethical purposes and aesthetic ends.
When discussing well-being, subject-relative concerns are intuitively important ones. In this article, I argue that Immanuel Kant's theory of well-being can be satisfactorily subject-relative, despite his emphasis on objective moral well-being. Because the specifics of agents’ situations affect agents’ moral endowments, duties regarding moral well-being can be altered for subject-relative reasons. When it comes to thinking about the well-being of others, the important Kantian notion of respect for rational agents ensures that this will be decidedly subject-relative, too, and, what is more, that this will be aimed specifically at natural well-being (happiness).
Subjects donate individually (control group) or in pairs (treatment group). Those in pairs reveal their donation decision to each other. Average donations in the treatment group are significantly higher than in the control group. Paired subjects have the opportunity to revise their donation decision after discussion. Pair members shift toward each others’ initial decisions. Subjects are happier with their decision when their donations are larger, but those in pairs are less happy, controlling for amount donated. These findings suggest reluctant altruism due to peer pressure in charitable giving.
The current unsustainable growth of the world economy is largely a consequence of the crisis of social capital experienced by much of the world’s population. Declining social capital leads economies towards excessive growth, because people seek, in economic affluence, compensation for emotional distress and loss of resources caused by scarce social and affective relationships. To slow down economic growth requires an increase in social capital that is a fundamental contributor to happiness. From a wide range of possible approaches to increasing present happiness, this article suggests policies that would shift the economy to a more sustainable path. It focuses on a more politically sustainable set of proposals for a green ‘new deal’ than some of those currently under discussion.
Recently economists have expressed increasing interest in studying the determinants of happiness. Their main task has been to identify economic and non-economic sources of well-being to define policies aimed at maximising happiness in nations. As yet, it has not been precisely explained why ‘happiness economics’ is actually a part of economic science. In this article, we show that happiness can be an economic concept providing a critical review of the literature on (a) economic applications of happiness data and (b) economic consequences of happiness. Happiness data have been used to analyse microeconomic phenomena and to value non-market goods. Happiness may act as a determinant of economic outcomes: it increases productivity, predicts one’s future income and affects labour market performance. A growing number of happiness studies indicate a role of personality traits in understanding the link between well-being and economic outcomes.
There is a lively debate about the effect of maximizing and satisficing tendencies on well-being. The question is, whether maximizing and satisficing have an adaptive or maladaptive effect on well-being. There are also issues regarding the conceptualization and measurement of maximizing and satisficing tendencies. In a sample of 514 subjects from the general population in Slovakia, a two-component model of maximizing was examined. Satisficing tendency was measured as a separate construct. The results show the usefulness of a two-component model (maximizing as a strategy and maximizing as a goal) in measuring maximizing tendency. Maximizing as a strategy (measured as alternative search) turned out to be maladaptive (positively related to depression and negatively related to happiness), whereas maximizing as a goal (measured as high standards) had no maladaptive effect (no relation with well-being). In addition, the two components were differently associated with personality factors, which strengthens the need to distinguish between them. However, the satisficing tendency measured separately from maximizing tendency was not related to anything which raises a question about the conceptualization and validity of this tendency. The results of the current study, therefore, indicate that the (mal)adaptive effect of these tendencies depends on their conceptualization as well as on how these tendencies are measured, and also on their different relationship with personality factors. However, results also point to the importance of considering the cultural context that may have an effect on the relationship between maximizing and well-being. Therefore, the results may vary due to different cultures.
Diener and colleagues (2001) illustrated that individuals rely heavily on endings to evaluate the quality of a life. Two studies investigated the potential for posthumous events to affect rated life quality, calling into question the intuitive “ending” of a life at death. Undergraduates read a series of short life narratives to assess the consequences of posthumous reversals of fortune on judgments of the goodness and happiness of the life. In a 2x2 within-subjects design, lives positive and negative in valence were displayed twice: once from birth to death and once each life was followed by a posthumous event of opposite valence. Results demonstrated that posthumous reversals of fortune shift judgments of the goodness and happiness of the life in the direction of the valence of the posthumous event. These effects were not related to an individual’s religiosity or the degree to which the life made an engaging story. We suggest that the posthumous happy effect may be a case of a more general process, which we call retroactive re-evaluation.
Academics working on animal welfare typically consider the animal's affective state (eg the experience of pain), biological functioning (eg the presence of injuries), and sometimes naturalness (eg access to pasture), but it is unclear how these different factors are weighed in different cases. We argue that progress can be informed by systematically observing how ordinary people respond to scenarios designed to elicit varying, and potentially conflicting, types of concern. The evidence we review illustrates that people vary in how much weight they place on each of these three factors in their assessments of welfare in different cases; in some cases, concerns about the animal's affective state are predominant, and in other cases other concerns are more important. This evidence also suggests that people's assessments can also include factors (like the animal's relationship with its caregiver) that do not fit neatly within the dominant three-circles framework of affect, functioning and naturalness. We conclude that a more complete understanding of the multiple conceptions of animal welfare can be advanced by systematically exploring the views of non-specialists, including their responses to scenarios designed to elicit conflicting concerns.
The impact of practical instrumental music instruction on students’ psychological and sociological well-being is well documented in research literature. The extent to which these findings hold true for disadvantaged populations is unknown. Previous studies focused on young students with little to no research on disadvantaged young adults at university level. This study investigated the impact of group practical instrumental music instruction on the psychological well-being of disadvantaged university students. It particularly investigated changes in students’ optimism, self-esteem and happiness after participation in a wind ensemble. The study further looked at possible relationships between optimism, self-esteem, happiness and participation in an instrumental music ensemble. Results revealed increases in participant’s optimism, self-esteem and happiness and moderate to strong positive correlations between variables.
To identify levels and key correlates of happiness across Europe in 2018, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
We used data from the European Social Survey to determine levels of happiness in individuals (n = 49,419) from 29 European countries and identify associations between happiness and age, gender, satisfaction with income, employment status, community trust, satisfaction with health, satisfaction with democracy, religious belief and country of residence.
In 2018, self-rated happiness varied significantly across the 29 European countries, with individuals in Denmark reporting the highest levels of happiness (8.38 out of 10) and individuals in Bulgaria reporting the lowest (5.55). Ireland ranked 11th (7.7). Happiness had significant, independent associations with younger age, satisfaction with health, satisfaction with household income, community trust, satisfaction with democracy and religious belief. These factors accounted for 25.4% of the variance in happiness between individuals, and, once they were taken into account, country of residence was no longer significantly associated with happiness.
Self-rated happiness varied significantly across pre-pandemic. At individual level, happiness was more closely associated with certain variables than with country of residence. It is likely that the Covid-19 pandemic had significant impacts on some or all of these variables. This highlights the importance of further analysis of correlates of happiness in Europe over future years, when detailed happiness data from during and after the pandemic become available.
My aim in this essay is to reorient our understanding of the Kantian ethical project, especially in relation to its assumed rivals. I do this by considering Kant's relation to eudaimonism, especially in its Aristotelian form. I argue for two points. First, once we understand what Kant and Aristotle mean by happiness, we can see that not only is it the case that, by Kant's lights, Aristotle is not a eudaimonist. We can also see that, by Aristotle's lights, Kant is a eudaimonist. Second, we can see that this agreement on eudaimonism actually reflects a deeper, more fundamental agreement on the nature of ethics as a distinctively practical philosophy. This is an important result, not just for the history of moral philosophy but for moral philosophy as well. For it suggests that both Kantians and Aristotelians may well have more argumentative resources available to them than is commonly thought.
Aging raises wide-ranging issues within social, economic, welfare, and health care systems. Life satisfaction is regarded as an indicator of the quality of life which, in turn, is associated with mortality and morbidity in older adults.
Life Satisfaction is a dimension of happiness and well-being which represents the quality of life in both literacy and every aspect of a person. The purpose of the article is to assess the level of life satisfaction and the factors associated with life satisfaction in old age.
This research was conducted in a cross-sectional study using 36 items from Satisfaction and Well-being of Elderly (Thai semi-structured in-depth interviews) tools to collect data. The population used in this study was Thai people over 60 and used multistage probability sampling, were held with 2000 elderly individuals from 13 health regions of Thailand.
Of the 2000 samples, the overall life satisfaction was moderate (54.1%). Upon data analysis, ten categories were extracted. However, there are 7 factors that significantly influence the level of life satisfaction of the Thai elderly at p < 0.05: Age, Occupation, Recreational activities, Revenue, Education level, Religious activities, and Social Support. Moreover, when tested with Pearson Correlation found that the relationship between and Thai brief screening for depression (2Q) was low correlated (r -0.121, P=0.000).
Aging should be foreseen and forethought to increase life satisfaction. The following can be effective in increasing life satisfaction in the elderly: Placing greater emphasis on spiritualism in life, employment of the elderly, and promoting positive leisure in the elderly.
While many expect happiness to decline in old age, research into well-being and happiness suggests otherwise. Happiness is U-curved, with the bottom of the U, the unhappiest part, experienced in middle age, and happiness increasing thereafter. This surprising diachronic phenomenon presents ethical questions concerning the way we perceive our own and other people's lives, and how individuals and society ought to respond to ageing. I claim the U-curve could influence, inter alia, our attitudes to our own ageing, debates concerning prioritisation of the elderly in health decisions, and attitudes towards end-of-life decisions. As an example of how the U-curve can influence the conclusion of an applied ethical problem in population ethics, I revisit Peter Singer’s claim that substantially extending later life would reduce total utility. With some qualifications, I defend Mark Walker’s claim that, in undermining the crucial empirical assumption that life gets worse as we age, the U-curve casts doubt on Singer’s critique of life extension.
Women and men who work as temporary foreign contract workers tend to leave their families for six to eight months per year, completely separated from the reproductive labor contexts of their households, families, and communities. The chapter opens with a woman struggling to maintain meaningful connections with her family at home while working abroad, a process involving balancing the realities of extreme labor control in seafood plants in the United States with the needs of children at home who are at risk of unwed pregnancies, drug abuse, and resentment of absent parents. It lists ten forms of labor found in six communities in Mexico and Guatemala, comparing reproductive labor and foreign contract labor in terms of their ability to generate satisfaction and happiness.
This final chapter applies material from earlier chapters in the context of ecological economics and happiness economics. From the former it accepts that natural resource limitations (including capacities for storing waste products without harming the biosphere) require growth in per-capita incomes in advanced economies to be reined in, so the chapter focuses on how this can be done without making affluent consumers miserable. The type of change needed is shown via vignettes of materialistic and green lifestyles, bringing out the need to adopt more mindful ways of living and for society to make social standing a function of the contributions people make to social and environmental well-being rather than how wealthy or powerful a person is. Resistance to change is explored both in cognitive terms and in relation to the shortcomings of complex systems (e.g., transportation systems) in terms of missing links or prerequisites. However, since the book’s analysis is not based on fixed preference systems and it applies the idea of brain plasticity being an inherent consequence of thinking, the key thing is whether people will be able to change before environmental tipping points are reached.