THE MODERN INTERPRETATION OF HAPPINESS AND ITS APPLICABILITY TO UKRAINE
Keywords:happiness, well-being, material and environmental factors of happiness, biophilia, post-war reconstruction of Ukraine
The article is dedicated to the analysis of modern approaches to the definition, conceptualization, and interpretation of happiness to outline the conditions of a happy life for Ukrainians (Ukrainian happiness). This is important for the development of a vision of a post-war future, the definition of the integral goal of post-war development, and the role of the policy of happiness in it.
The article considers subjective and objective, internal and external conditions of happiness, including the dependence of happiness on both economic and environmental conditions in their interconnectedness. The relevance of such an analysis is conditioned by the global situation (the global environmental crisis, growth of the environmental threats and challenges, diminishing of the total natural capital, etc.) and the national reality (environmental damage as a result of Russian aggression and the challenges of post-war restoration).
Special attention is paid to the non-linear influence of material well-being and its effect on happiness, as well as the dependence of happiness on the quality of the environment. The analysis of this issue is based on the consideration of: 1) Easterlin paradox; 2) Layard’s “The Big Seven factors affecting happiness” (family relationships, financial situation, work, involvement in the community and friendship, physical and mental health, personal freedom and personal values); 3) the methodology of “conversion” of natural capital into a long, comfortable, and happy life for people (Happy Planet Index); 4) hypothesis of biophilia as the evolutionarily determined psycho-emotional connection of man with nature and as a precondition of well-being and happiness (E. Wilson, S. Kellert).
It is concluded that for Ukraine it is important not only to estimate the economic and environmental losses caused by Russian aggression but also the economic and environmental cost of post-war reconstruction. A strategy for harmonizing economic, social, and environmental policies as components of an integral policy of happiness should be worked out. Nature should be considered not only as a source of economic growth but also as a basis for satisfying non-material human needs and feelings of biophilia.
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