“I’ve Got the Flow”: The Positive Psychology of Ancient Philosophers with Professor Christof Rapp (LMU Munich)
When? Wednesday, February 15th, 2023 2-4pm
Where? The Catalyst Centre (EV-151/152), UTSC
Abstract: Positive psychology is a relatively new branch of cognitive-empirical psychology that inquires into phenomena such as well-being, happiness, positive emotions, engagement (incl. the so-called ‘flow’), accomplishment, meaning in life, character traits and positive relations. The attribute ‘positive’ is meant to indicate a major departure from the so far predominant pathology-centred (and in this sense ‘negative’) style of modern psychology. Applied positive psychology aims at bringing about behaviors that can lead to improved performance and a more satisfactory life. The presentation tries to show that, even though positive psychology is a recent development within scientific psychology, ancient Greek and Roman moral philosophers (i.e. philosophers who lived approximately 2,500 to 1,800 years ago) shared more or less the same goals, addressed the same core phenomena and ended up giving similar recommendations. If this so, the purported goal of applied positive psychology (namely bringing about behaviors that can lead to improved performance and a more satisfactory life) can, in principle, also be reached by studying the works of these ancient Greek and Roman philosophers.