Responsibility: Enabling Human Consciousness and Flourishing Using Paradox Theory


This paper argues the role of responsibility as a unifying condition, akin to Aristotle’s phronesis or master virtue, to keep human consciousness from atrophying and in the process help achieve individual, institutional, and global flourishing and well-being. Specifically, the paper proposes the use of paradox theory and the paradoxical mindset in finding the balance or optimum combination among the three fundamental conditions human consciousness needs to flourish in everyday life: freedom, hope, and flow. The paper uses an old concept such as paradox to find a new way of application to the second wave of the science of positive psychology or existential positive psychology (PP 2.0). The use of a paradoxical mindset can help advance PP2.0’s ultimate goal of optimal human functioning, flourishing, and well-being through the recognition and harnessing of the dialectic nature and tendencies of people, organizations, and society. The paper ends with some suggestions (i.e., structural equation models or SEMs) to guide future researchers to further the research and inquiry into this proposed construct.

Keywords: #responsibility, #wellbeing, #flourishing, #paradoxtheory, #paradoxicalmindset

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