Five positive psychological principles for wellbeing are set out in the Introduction: connection, autonomy, competence, strengths-based approaches, and having a sense of meaning beyond the self. These principles, together with an open mind (mindful awareness), open heart (kindness and compassion), and clear thinking (informed appraisal), we saw as providing a foundation for ‘wise action’ – defined as choosing whatever yields the greatest long-term benefit, not just for ourselves in the here and now, but for others, including those who are not like us or come after us. This embeds utilitarian philosophy in a global and chronological context, threaded throughout the book with illustrative stories. In each chapter, readers are invited to reflect on the ideas presented and how they apply to their own lives and things they care about.
Click on the below to watch Felicia’s introduction to the book as delivered at the Happiness and its Causes conference online at the end of 2020: