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Sustainability and the Science of Happiness

Date: 6 May 2008 Time: 5.30pm

PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES 2008 - Philosophy and Science

All lectures are free and open to all.

Tuesday 6th May

5.30pm Furness Lecture Theatre 2 Lancaster University

Professor John O'Neill (Manchester University)

Sustainability and the Science of Happiness

A number of authors and policy makers have suggested that recent developments in the 'new science of happiness' show that it is possible to de-couple increasing consumption from improvement of quality of life. The findings in hedonic research on subjective well-being offer a way of moving towards a low consumption of economy that is necessary for sustainability. In this paper I show that there are problems with this hedonic case for sustainability. While there are arguments for suggesting that quality of life and increasing consumption can be decoupled, the revival of a hedonist theory of well-being does not provide the best starting point for their development.

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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