Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Weal: the universal core of human well-being

Folk, György (2019): Weal: the universal core of human well-being.

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Well-being is a formative concept of our times, one of the most widely used constructs in the social sciences, publicity, political and lifestyle discourses. Notwithstanding its commonness the term well-being remains elusive, the disagreement regarding how to properly understand and measure well-being persists. Present paper proposes an attempt to reorientate the discourse on well-being by the introduction of a tertium datur between the two extremes of ad infinitum culturally variable and individually malleable and the rigidly materialistic, biologically and by natural scarcity determined interpretations of human nature. Weal defines a singular domain in which human life is possible, sustainable and flourishing. Most other available constructs with comparable aspirations including happiness, desire theories, Quality of Life (QOL), subjective well-being (SWB), and objective lists carry Western cultural biases and lack ontological rigour. Weal is the unitary domain in which human communities balance between self-sufficiency and flourishing in a sustainable way. The descriptive approach to weal, mapping it under the guidance of discrete scientific disciplines reveals a limited set of cardinal aspects, the cardinal needs (CDN). To serve the purpose of reorientation, weal is operationalised as a domain in multidimensional space, each dimension encompassing an optimal level of availability of the fundamental satisfiers between the two extremes of drastic insufficiency and harmful excess. The cardinal needs are briefly presented as assessed fundamental by corresponding research, with some elementary references illustrating their non-infinite nature.

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