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Flourishing / Social Sciences

Judy Dean

Professor of International Economics in the Brandeis International Business School


This is an excellent and very helpful perspective on flourishing. Stating that the empirical sciences cannot take on the task of defining flourishing is crucial. Broadly speaking, economics allows that concept to be defined by the individual. However, economics can contribute to understanding the authors’ components of flourishing. For example, economics sheds light on agency, identifying choices that can impede or encourage one’s own well-being or the well-being of others. It also contributes to the circumstantial dimension, providing measures of material well-being that can help us identify deprivation/need, and risk. Considering the Biblical emphasis on our responsibility to the poor and vulnerable among us, I see a role for empirical economics to help promote right agency and right circumstances.