The Kellogg Center for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics will host a workshop that explores various aspects of well-being and the good life on Aug. 4 in the conference room of the Kellogg Center (please see here for directions).

Well-being, welfare, and happiness are central concepts in PPE research and are often discussed as synonymous with what is important for living a good life. Each workshop speaker will discuss different aspects of well-being, in particular questions regarding how to conceptualize well-being, how to measure it, and the relationship between well-being and normative concerns that are pertinent to a good life.

1. Speakers

Michael Bishop is a professor in the Department of Philosophy at Florida State University. Dr. Bishop’s current research focuses on good reasoning and good lives. Bishop also works on developing views that combine the insights of philosophers and scientists on these topics. 

Jennifer Hawkins is an associate research professor of Philosophy at Duke University. Dr. Hawkins’s more recent work has focused on well-being, quality of life, and the nature of decision-making. Dr. Hawkins is currently writing a book about well-being.

Tyler DesRoches is an associate professor of Sustainability and Human Well-Being at Arizona State University. Trained as a philosopher and economist, Dr. DesRoches is a sustainability scholar whose research focuses on the relationship between sustainability and human well-being.

Gil Hersch is an assistant professor in the Virginia Tech Department of Philosophy and a Core Faculty member of the Kellogg Center. Dr. Hersch specializes in ethical issues at the intersection of economics and policy, especially as they relate to happiness and well-being.

2. Workshop schedule

8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Gathering and Refreshments

9 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. Welcoming Remarks: Michael Moehler

9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Michael Bishop: “Santayana’s Fanatic and Theories of Well-Being”

10:45 a.m. to 11 a.m. Coffee Break 

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Gil Hersch: “What Well-Being to Expect When You’re Expecting”

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lunch Break

1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Jennifer Hawkins: “The Best Form of Welfare Subjectivism (and Why it Really is Subjective)”

3 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Coffee Break

3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Tyler DesRoches: “Consumer Well-Being”

4:45 p.m. to 5 p.m. Concluding Remarks

6 p.m. Dinner (on invitation)

3. Attendance, format, and papers

The workshop is open to the public. All faculty and students are cordially invited to attend.

Each speaker will provide a paper for the workshop attendees to read in advance. During the workshop, each speaker will have 1.5 hours devoted to discussing their work, with the first 30 minutes of presentation by the speaker followed by a discussion of the paper.

In order to receive a copy of the papers to be presented in advance, please contact Gil Hersch (

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Holly Belcher ( at least ten business days before the event.