Well-Being as Harmony

In David Kaspar (ed.), Explorations in Ethics. pp. 117-140 (2020)
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Abstract

In this paper, I sketch out a novel theory of well-being according to which well-being is constituted by harmony between mind and world. The notion of harmony I develop has three aspects. First there is correspondence between mind and world in the sense that events in the world match the content of our mental states. Second there is positive orientation towards the world, meaning that we have pro-attitudes towards the world we find ourselves in. Third there is fitting response to the world. Taken together these three aspects make up an ideal of being attuned to, or at home in, the world. Such harmony between mind and world constitutes well-being. Its opposite – being disoriented, ill-at-ease in, or hostile to the world – makes a life go poorly. And, as we shall see, many of the things that intuitively contribute to well-being are instantiating one or more of the three aspects of harmony.

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Hasko von Kriegstein
Toronto Metropolitan University

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