© 2015

Ancient Views on the Quality of Life


  • Is the first short monograph to provide precise reviews of contributions of ancient philosophers to quality of life or well-being research for social scientists

  • Illustrates the connection of very early reflections to current views on quality of life

  • Is written by a well-known authority on quality of life and well-being research


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Well-Being and Quality of Life Research book series (BRIEFSWELLBEING)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Alex C. Michalos
    Pages 1-90
  3. Back Matter
    Pages 91-91

About this book


This monograph describes the contributions to our current understanding of quality of life made by the most important ancient philosophers in the Western Tradition. It does so from the point of view of a contemporary researcher in quality of life or human well-being. Revisiting ancient texts from about 600 BCE to 300 BCE, the book explores the earliest ideas in recorded western philosophical and scientific history that were significantly related to current research and understanding of the quality of life or well-being for individuals and communities. It examines the problems and solutions found in these texts and their connection to still current fundamental issues and questions such as: ‘What is a good life?’, ‘What is the best sort of person to be?’ ‘How can one tell if one’s society is making progress to some sort of desirable state or falling backwards?’ The book shows that across time and across many cultures, the human species bears some remarkable similarities.


Ancient Writers Life Timelines for Ancient Scholars Lives and views of ancient philosophers Measuring the quality of life Theorethical or speculative philosophy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Political ScienceUniversity of Northern British Columbia and 1506 Kilborn AvenueOttawaCanada

About the authors

Prof. Alex Michalos currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Brandon University. He is also the Director of Research for the Canadian Index of Wellbeing and Emeritus Professor in Political Science at his former institution, the University of Northern British Columbia. Michalos has published 24 books, over 100 refereed articles, and founded or co-founded seven scholarly journals. Among the seven, he is Editor in Chief for the Journal of Business Ethics, the most frequently cited journal in the world devoted to business ethics, and Social Indicators Research, the first scholarly journal devoted to quality of life research. He is married to Dr. Deborah Poff, President and Vice-Chancellor of Brandon University.

Bibliographic information

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