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Flourishing through Leisure Practice Model, Capabilities Approach, and MacIntyre’s Theory of Flourishing: Compatible and Interrelated

James B. Wise


Flourishing is a burgeoning concept in therapeutic recreation (TR) with some authors arguing for it to be a principal goal of the profession. However, there are three conceptualizations in the literature raising questions of compatibility and interrelationship. Are the Capabilities Approach (Nussbaum, 2006), MacIntyre’s (2007) theory of flourishing, and the Flourishing through Leisure: An Ecological Extension of the Leisure and Well-Being Model (FTL; Anderson & Heyne, 2012a) compatible, and if so, how are they interrelated? An investigation revealed the conceptualizations are harmonious and nested according to level of generality. The Capabilities Approach is the most abstract and serves as a foundation that accommodates MacIntyre’s theory which, in turn, details multiple capabilities and their contributions to flourishing. The FTL model links both to service recipients by transforming theoretical rhetoric into specific actions professionals take to facilitate flourishing. Considered jointly, the complementary entities serve at least two functions. They mutually support flourishing as a principal goal and supply clear guidelines on how to help people live well. 

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Capabilities approach; flourishing; Flourishing through Leisure Model; therapeutic recreation

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