ENSO Seminar Series

The Environmental Normativities of Well-Being

Laura Mojica

Embodied Cognitive Science Unit, OIST
Oct. 13, 2022, 2 p.m. UTC // Oct. 13, 2022, 2 p.m. in UTC
In this talk, I approach the concept of well-being and the role of materiality from a radically embodied point of view. I begin by offering a conception of well-being comprising two elements: an adequate affectivity and a dignified life. I focus on the latter, which refers to individuals’ abilities to autonomously satisfy their physiological needs and needs as citizens and community members. As shown by ecological psychology, abilities imply certain material conditions to be developed and executed. This is also the case for well-being because being able to sustain a dignified life for oneself depends on the possibilities the environment offers to the individual. This implies, I argue, that the material and the digital environments we bring about and maintain as a society, be it through sedimentation or explicit design, plays a normative role over people’s well-being. The reason is that these environments result in possibilities for action for agents with certain skills and corporalities, while imposing obstacles to others. Therefore, material conditions partially dictate what a good life consists in and who can achieve it and maintain it.

Link to join/watch the seminar: https://youtu.be/suY7G7MuhvI