“The Social Nature of the Human Good”
Dr. Fowers has used an Arsht Ethics Initiatives Distinguished Ethics Faculty Award (2011-12) to begin work on a book, The Social Nature of the Human Good: Toward a Theory of Natural Ethics. The book places evolutionary theory in dialogue with Aristotle’s systematic and deep understanding of the good life. Evolutionary theory facilitates a productive reinterpretation of Aristotle’s views, and Aristotle’s thought sheds new light on important but neglected aspects of evolutionary theory and evidence. This dialogue explores his central thesis, that fully understanding human ethics requires a firm grasp of our evolved biological nature, and that a full comprehension of our biological nature is equally dependent on recognizing that we have evolved to become beings who must respond to ethical questions. 

In addition to work on the book, Dr. Fowers has been actively engaged in the following activities as part of his Goal Orientation and Life Success (GOALS) Project:

  • Preparing a qualitative (interview) study of goal pursuit in college graduates (preliminary results presented at the American Psychological Association meeting in August 2011 in Washington, D.C.). Click for “Appropriate Dependency” poster and “Goal Types” poster.
  • Gave the keynote talk at the 2012 British Columbia Counselling Psychology Conference in Vancouver.
  • Developing the Relationship Flourishing Scale (a measure to assess meaning, partnership and growth in romantic relationships)
  • Co-hosting the Eudaimonia and Virtue Conference that included 29 highly prominent eudaimonia scholars in philosophy and psychology.
  • Guest editing a special issue of the Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology titled “Eudaimonia and Virtue in Psychology.”