I went to the book-launch of a new book on well-being policy yesterday, which brought together some leading figures in this nascent movement – including David Halpern of the government’s ‘nudge unit’, Canadian economist John Helliwell, psychologist Maurren O’Hara, and Juliet Michaelson of the new economics foundation. The book – Well-being and Beyond – is Read more…

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I want to explore the idea of Greek philosophy as a meeting-point between various humanisms, including Christian humanism, atheist or agnostic humanism, Islamic humanism and Jewish humanism. These days, I would describe myself as a Christian humanist. I mean ‘humanist’ in the Renaissance sense – someone who loves and wants to revive ancient philosophy and Read more…

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Is it possible to for a professional sports team to put character before external success? I visited Saracens rugby club to find out. It can still feel weird discussing having had depression and anxiety to strangers in public talks. Although I’m fairly used to exposing myself these days (as it were), there are still occasions Read more…

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There are two main philosophies of well-being: active and passive. The active philosophy of well-being tells us that happiness and flourishing come from striving and achievement. It’s best embodied by Aristotle, who defines happiness as “an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue”. The key word there is activity – Aristotle thinks we are Read more…

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One of the interesting things about the politics of well-being is how, in the UK, it began as a movement on the Left, through figures like Geoff Mulgan (the head of Blair’s policy unit), and Richard Layard, but then managed to cross over and become a cross-party consensus, both in the Lib Dems (through people Read more…

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