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Wellbeing Assignment: Aristotle’s Theory Vs Bentham’s Theory


Task: This wellbeing assignment brings together perspectives on wellbeing from different academic disciplines to develop a holistic view of wellbeing.

1. Create a mind map of wellbeing incorporating 2 (two) theories of wellbeing from different perspectives
2. Use this map to develop a written critical reflection (750 words +/- 10%) of the similarities and differences between the theories, and the research support for each.


Develop a Mind-map based on the case scenario of wellbeing assignment

Mind-map- Aristotle and Bentham

Mind map Aristotle and Bent

Critical Reflection

The theory ofwell being indicates five parameters of well being, i.e., (positive, emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning,achievement) PERMA beneficial for flourishing as a human being. According to Coffey et al. (2016), the aspect of a good life is taken into account for the purpose of the theory. As per Seligman’s PERMA, the theory of well being pursues the fundamental question for flourishing techniques for meeting the need of human beings. The major focus of PERMA relates to relieving human suffering in order to cultivate the best version of them (Hefferon&Boniwell2011).

The theories of well being are divided into hedonism, desire-based and objective view list. Aristotle’s philosophies are reliant on aiming for the highest good and purposes. The aspect of Eudaimonia is critical and central to the theory of wellbeing. Bentham’s theory further relies on hedonism for meeting with pleasure and pain for human beings. The aim of the paper is to evaluate the differences between Aristotle’s theory of well being and Bentham’s theory of well being. The similarities and differences between the theories of well being will be beneficial for conceptualisation. The challenges and contradictions will be taken into perspectives for comprehending factors that are responsible for the process of transition.

Similarities and Difference: Aristotle and Bentham

The theory of Aristotle’s well being states the philosophical conceptions related to the accommodation of a plausible idea of happiness related to a human being. It states that human beings are subjected to vulnerabilities and mistakes that, in turn, poses misfortunes over an individual. The qualities of justice, wisdom and courage posit a higher understanding of the human psyche. It depends on the virtuous activities exhibited by human beings that lead to rational decisions. Aristotle relates to the understanding of the virtuous activity, affecting the nature and state of happiness of an individual.

The Bentham theory ofwell being in psychology relates to hedonism, stating that welfare and happiness exist in the area of no pain or sadness. The value of pleasure and displeasure is measured through duration certainty and intensity. The two theories of well being are similar on the aspect of ethical theory of well being and happiness. It is necessary to note that in positive psychology, eudaimonia is an important part of the role of positive psychology. Bentham argues actions are based on consequences as per the utilitarian understanding of the principle of happiness (Collard, 2006). Both Aristotle and Bentham perceive happiness to be the final good for human beings. It emphasises its focus upon rational thinking for a good life. There are differences that further conceptualise the theories, such as, according to Aristotle, happiness stems from human action nature and personal experience. Whereas, as per Bentham, the aspect of happiness depends on right and wrong determining good within a human being.

Conceptualisation of well-being theory using similar practices and ideas in a different approach
It focuses on the concepts of eudaimonia and utilitarianism, based on the tenets of positive psychology (Proctor & Tweed 2016). These are similar practices, yet differ in their aspect and approaches, that affect their growth as of right or wrong within an individual. It is a necessary note; these ethical theories are based on the focus of human beings to acquire happiness within their final pursuit in life. According to Aristotle, happiness can be equated with moral virtue. An activity involves the stimulation of moral and intellectual arte (Charles 1999). The concept of arte relates to the peculiar experiences of individuals and persons. Similarly, misery, inactivity, and so can pursue happiness on (Nussbaum, 2004).

In a similar manner, Bentham also proposes utilitarianism, which indicates happiness based on consequences. Happiness is equal to the greatest principle of understanding happiness as the principle and ultimate good for human beings( Graham&Nikolova2015). The aspect of universal egoism is also perceived to be a part of the research in positive psychology. It recognises the concepts of pain and pleasures and has an influence over the rational perspective and thinking of an individual as similar to Aristotle’s perspectives.

Contradiction and Challenges
There are contradictions and challenges affecting the theories, such as the role of pain and pleasure, which is different from the notion and aspect of Aristotle's theory. According to Aristotle, pain and challenges are a product of eudemonia. Bentham stating pleasure with happiness and evil with good contradicts the Aristotelian theory of well being. Hence, there are critical differences between these two theories.

The report has provided an accurate understanding of the importance of well being and essential theory. It has provided an understanding of the roles of understanding of the psychology of happiness and the role of well being as its highest form. The role of theories projects the role of human understanding and their beliefs and assumptions in the purpose of its well-being. Hence, the report has shed light on the differences in the attribute and the challenges infused within these theories.


Coffey, J. K., Wray-Lake, L., Mashek, D., &Branand, B. (2016).A multi-study examination of well-being theory in college and community samples. Journal of Happiness Studies, 17(1), 187-211.

Charles, D. (1999, June). Aristotle On Well?Being And Intellectual Contemplation: David Charles. In Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume (Vol. 73, No. 1, pp. 205-223). University College London: The Aristotelian Society.

Nussbaum, M. C. (2004). Mill between Aristotle & Bentham. Daedalus, 133(2), 60-68.

Proctor, C., & Tweed, R. (2016).Measuring eudaimonic well-being.Wellbeing assignmentIn Handbook of eudaimonic well-being (pp. 277-294).Springer, Cham.

Graham, C., &Nikolova, M. (2015).Bentham or Aristotle in the development process?An empirical investigation of capabilities and subjective well-being. World Development, 68, 163-179.

Collard, D. (2006). Research on well-being: Some advice from Jeremy Bentham. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 36(3), 330-354.

Hefferon, K., &Boniwell, I. (2011). Positive psychology: Theory, research and applications. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).


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