Virtue, Health, and Eudaimonistic Psychology
Lawrence C. Becker
June 22, 2007
This paper argues that the agenda for positive psychology laid out by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman in their massive work Character Strengths and Virtues: a Handbook and Classification (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) might be improved by making several conceptual changes: 1) by developing general concepts of virtue (singular), and of positive health to clarify the relationships between specific virtues and competing conceptions of positive health; 2) by aligning the project more firmly with eudaimonistic accounts of virtue that fit comfortably with scientific psychology; and 3) by aligning the project more firmly with the health sciences than with ethics and philosophy generally.
The paper was developed from a talk prepared for the Working Conference on The Philosophical History of Character Strengths and Virtues, The University of Pennsylvania, September 2-4, 2004. It is currently under review for publication in a book of papers coming out of that conference.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: health, positive health, psychological health, eudaimonism, virtue
Date posted: June 25, 2007