The purpose of this paper is to assess orthodox theories of well-being in western civilization at first, and second, to investigate Islamic views regarding this concept. Then, comparing these two groups of views, it tries to show that there is a kind of convergence between them that it provides a common point for political aspect of well-being.
To investigate this convergence, orthodox theories of well-being were analyzed critically and Islamic views were revealed. Both orthodox theories and Islamic views of well-being were discussed theoretically (not practically) via descriptive-analytical method and based on a philosophical approach. Since the problem that this paper is going to involve and resolve is conceptual (concept and nature of human well-being and finding a common point among different theories), so the proper method will be the descriptive-analytical and dialectic discussion.
This paper found that, despite some similarities between orthodox theories and Islamic views of well-being, the most important difference between Avicenna and hedonistic view is his approach to the concept of enjoyment and his spreading of the meaning of it. Molla Sadra’s approach to well-being is close to the objective list theories of well-being – particularly that of Sen’s and Nussbaum’s. It is concluded that there is a convergence in theories based on movement from instrumental reason to the intellect in specification and investigation of people’s well-being and its elements.
There is a kind of convergence, so that we can achieve a common point which could be the base for policy making in national and international level to solve problems arising from complexity, ambiguity and boring and dismal disagreements regarding this concept which is an important obstacle in front of the policy makers. Moreover, moving from instrumental reason to the intellect and considering ethical virtues in people’s well-being could be helpful in removing some social problems such as conflicts between labor and employers and financial crises.
Description and calcification theories of well-being especially for economists that they are very far from these subjects and introducing of Islamic views via philosophical approach is absolutely original in this paper. Moreover, paper attempts to show the convergence in orthodox theories and between orthodox and Islamic views in which it provides a common point for practical aspect of well-being.
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