Title

Eudamonia and Occupational Science

Start Time

15-10-2009 3:45 PM

End Time

15-10-2009 5:15 PM

Abstract

Occupational science is an emerging discipline that, since its inception, has focused upon occupation as doing with meaning. Yet, the implicit virtue ethics upon which the discipline of occupational science has been built has not been adequately explicated. The purpose of this theoretical paper is to initiate the discussion. Thus, the proposed paper is important to the study of virtues by integrating them with the foundation of occupational science. The discipline of occupational science has long been theory rich but scientifically lacking in terms of traditional “evidence.” There is considerable pressure in modern times to make it fit in the medical model of science using linear models and evidence based rhetoric using clinical and experimental trials. Yet, the discipline may be as much an art based upon philosophy and virtue ethics as it is a science. It is time to articulate how eudemonia, or the good life, is a part of occupational science. The good life is one that has meaning, joy, serves others, and contributes to society. Current literature in this area will be reviewed, summarized and provide the basis of integration of virtue ethics with the foundation of occupational science. In our society today, the incident rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer are soaring. Add to this an aging population with typical aged-related dysfunctions and limitations, and we have a multitude of humans who are limited or impaired in their ability to participate in society in some manner. Does this mean all of these people are doomed to a lesser life? We have all worked with and known individuals with disabilities who, in spite of their chronic and persistent disability, appear to live “the good life” or accomplish what may be termed eudemonia. What is the good life in the presence of disease or disability? How does one accomplish the good life in the presence of disease and disability? These are the fundamental questions underpinning understanding of eudemonia related to occupational science. The philosophical articulation or learned treatise of what constitutes the good life in modern society will be articulated based upon virtue ethics. This articulation will, in part, provide a philosophical foundation for the discipline of occupational science.

References

Colson, C. (2005). The good life: Seeking purpose, meaning and truth in your life. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale Publishers.

Haidt, J. (2006). The happiness hypothesis: finding modern truth in ancient wisdom. New York: Perseus Books.

Kotva, J.J. (1996). The Christian case for virtue ethics. Georgetown University Press: Washington, DC.

Wilcock, A.A. (2006). An occupational perspective of health. Second Edition. Thoroughfare, NJ: SLACK

Zemke, R. & Clark, F. (1998) (Eds.) Occupational science: The evolving discipline. Philadelphia, PA: FA Davis.

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Oct 15th, 3:45 PM Oct 15th, 5:15 PM

Eudamonia and Occupational Science

Occupational science is an emerging discipline that, since its inception, has focused upon occupation as doing with meaning. Yet, the implicit virtue ethics upon which the discipline of occupational science has been built has not been adequately explicated. The purpose of this theoretical paper is to initiate the discussion. Thus, the proposed paper is important to the study of virtues by integrating them with the foundation of occupational science. The discipline of occupational science has long been theory rich but scientifically lacking in terms of traditional “evidence.” There is considerable pressure in modern times to make it fit in the medical model of science using linear models and evidence based rhetoric using clinical and experimental trials. Yet, the discipline may be as much an art based upon philosophy and virtue ethics as it is a science. It is time to articulate how eudemonia, or the good life, is a part of occupational science. The good life is one that has meaning, joy, serves others, and contributes to society. Current literature in this area will be reviewed, summarized and provide the basis of integration of virtue ethics with the foundation of occupational science. In our society today, the incident rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer are soaring. Add to this an aging population with typical aged-related dysfunctions and limitations, and we have a multitude of humans who are limited or impaired in their ability to participate in society in some manner. Does this mean all of these people are doomed to a lesser life? We have all worked with and known individuals with disabilities who, in spite of their chronic and persistent disability, appear to live “the good life” or accomplish what may be termed eudemonia. What is the good life in the presence of disease or disability? How does one accomplish the good life in the presence of disease and disability? These are the fundamental questions underpinning understanding of eudemonia related to occupational science. The philosophical articulation or learned treatise of what constitutes the good life in modern society will be articulated based upon virtue ethics. This articulation will, in part, provide a philosophical foundation for the discipline of occupational science.