Facets of Philosophic and Psychological Wellbeing: An Exploration of Human Happiness

In that it has been argued widely by both philosophers and psychologists that human happiness is the ultimate end to which our many means and activities are directed, we can also reasonably maintain that such happiness is not merely an episodically-occurring event, but rather, a more protracted state of being and a quality of one’s character—the result of living well. This thesis will examine how a conception of eudaimonia (the ancient Greek term broadly translated as human happiness) consists of a state of human flourishing and how that can be made more synonymous with what we mean by the more modern notion of wellbeing. Because eudaimonia requires virtuous activity of the soul (psyche) and involves self-growth and personal development, I argue that virtuous activity enables a more robust and hence preferable kind of happiness—sustainable happiness. In other words, human wellbeing consists of a kind of sustainable happiness that is afforded through virtuous conduct. In denoting and delineating various kinds of virtuous activity and its application to the human world, I argue for the conceptualization of three facets of life that regard wellbeing: these consist of our Relationships, our ability to court Adversity, and our capacity to doubt and seek clarity—what I broadly term, Negation. More particularly, I first argue that when our human relationships are pursued thoughtfully and reflectively, a beneficial interpersonal network of support and companionship come into existence (since this entails our happiness shared with others). Secondly, I argue that the facet of adversity (or productive opposition to particular goals), when engaged well, can promote personal conceptions of meaning and purpose, too (as this entails a happiness of one’s own). And thirdly, I show that the facet of negation (having doubts and seeking clarity), when encountered constructively, can promote better forms of happiness and meaning (since this entails our happiness when under revision). Finally, I argue that the best pursuit of each of these facets occurs when each is given sufficient and full expression—thus, wellbeing consists of a harmonious contentment between the facets and faces of our lives. In order to better understand the overall structure of the argument and analysis, I also present a simple visual model of the work, as well discuss possible implications for future research on human wellbeing.



Work Title Facets of Philosophic and Psychological Wellbeing: An Exploration of Human Happiness
Open Access
  1. Fairfield, Brian Charles
  1. Happiness
  2. Philosophy
  3. Psychology
  4. BPhil
License Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Work Type Capstone Project
  1. Penn State Univeristy
Publication Date April 10, 2017
  1. Well-being
  2. Psychology and philosophy
Geographic Area
  1. Penn State Brandywine
Deposited May 28, 2017




This resource is currently not in any collection.

Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added nvx021f37v_version1_Fairfield_Facets_of_Wellbeing_thesis.docx
  • Added Creator Fairfield, Brian Charles
  • Published