ABSTRACT

As mentioned earlier, positive psychology research is concerned with questions of happiness, well-being and how to live a good life. The approach taken, however, is quite different from philosophical considerations in regard to a good life. Although this study is mainly of an educational philosophical nature, relevant findings from other disciplines cannot be ignored. On the contrary, a discussion of these findings against the background of philosophical and educational considerations can enrich concepts of the art of living and contribute positively to the development of a good and beautiful life. Parallels between quantitative psychological research and qualitative philosophical concepts can strengthen the argument and provide further insights for educational practice. This chapter will provide an overview of relevant positive psychology research to allow for a more detailed comparison with philosophical concepts of the art of living, which will be conducted in Chapter 6. However, it also needs to be kept in mind, especially in light of the current popularity of positive psychology research and the notion of happiness, that positive psychology only provides a limited understanding of the idea of a good life. Schmid’s philosophical concept of the art of living, as discussed in Chapter 5, can broaden this understanding and provide a more holistic view on the topic.