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Well-Being and Pluralism

Mitchell, P; Alexandrova, A; (2020) Well-Being and Pluralism. Journal of Happiness Studies 10.1007/s10902-020-00323-8. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

It is a commonly expressed sentiment that the science and philosophy of well-being would do well to learn from each other. Typically such calls identify mistakes and bad practices on both sides that would be remedied if scientists picked the right bit of philosophy and philosophers picked the right bit of science. We argue that the differences between philosophers and scientists thinking about well-being are more difficult to reconcile than such calls suggest, and that pluralism is central to this task. Pluralism is a stance that explicitly drives towards accommodating and nurturing the richness and diversity of well-being, both as a concept and as an object of inquiry. We show that well-being science manifests a contingent pluralism at the level of methodology, whereas philosophy of well-being has largely rejected pluralism at the conceptual level. Recently, things have begun to change. Within philosophy, conceptual monism is under attack. But so is methodological pluralism within science. We welcome the first development, and bemoan the second. We argue that a joined-up philosophy and science of well-being should recognise the virtues of both conceptual and methodological pluralism. Philosophers should embrace the methodological justification of pluralism that can be found in the well-being sciences, and scientists should embrace the conceptual reasons to be pluralist that can be found in philosophical debate.

Type: Article
Title: Well-Being and Pluralism
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10902-020-00323-8
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-020-00323-8
Language: English
Additional information: his article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Measurement, Methodology, Philosophy, Pluralism, Well-being
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10113648
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