Founded in 2016, the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard's Institute for Quantitative Social Science aims to study and promote human flourishing, and to develop systematic approaches to the synthesis of knowledge across disciplines.
Many topics that are fundamental to human well-being such as happiness itself, virtue, religious community, meaning, and purpose have traditionally been viewed as principally falling within the purview of the humanities, often of philosophy or theology. However, a robust empirical research literature on these topics has now developed from sociology, political science, economics, education, psychology, medicine, public health, and other empirical sciences. The program’s research contributes to the broad question of how knowledge from the quantitative social sciences can be integrated with that of the humanities on questions of human flourishing and how best to carry out this synthesis of knowledge across disciplines. The program hopes to bring greater unity to the empirical social sciences and the humanities.
The program produces research publications and sponsors educational activities, such as courses, seminars, and conferences, for the Harvard University community all aimed at bringing knowledge together across disciplines and reflecting upon how knowledge from different disciplines might form a coherent whole.
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Seminars and Courses
The Human Flourishing Program also offers week-long summer seminars open to students around the country and for-credit courses for Harvard undergraduates and graduate students designed to provide opportunities to study questions of human flourishing from an interdisciplinary perspective. See more here.
- "Religious Community and Human Flourishing?" by Tyler J. VanderWeele (2022 AHSRA Annual Conference at AdventHealth University) May 18
- "A Theoretical Framework on the Relationship Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Moral Injury" by Jennifer Wortham (Duke University)
- "Love as the Essence of Flourishing: Experiments with the Subjunctive Mood" talk by Matthew T. Lee (Oxford University)
- "Kierkegaardian Perspectives and Prescriptions on Mental Health Issues" talks by Jeffrey Hanson and Wojciech Kaftanski (The Ninth International Kierkegaard Conference, St. Olaf)
- The Harvard Human Flourishing Program Digital Track: The Inner Development Goals Summit [April 29, 2022]
- "David B. Larson Memorial Lecture" by Tyler J. VanderWeele (Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, Duke University)