Preview Response

Flourishing / Medicine

John R. Peteet

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School


I found the Flourishing preview helpful, and would like to ask, as a psychiatrist interested in the relief of emotional and existential distress, where would the authors locate a sense of meaning and purpose (an element in Tyler VanderWeele’s Flourishing Measure)?  While clearly related to emotions, it also seems integrally connected to one’s sense of what is ideal and right, and to one’s identity. How does the Volf et al. formulation capture one’s sense of identity and purpose, which seem to be essential elements of human flourishing?