That’s why I’m trying to take these arguments apart. First of all, “he” and “she” are not marks of respect. They’re the most casual terms possible. If I refer to someone as “he” or I refer to someone as “she,” it’s not a mark of respect, its just categorization of the most simple and obvious kind. There’s not anything about it that’s individual, or characteristic of respect. Second, you have no right to demand from me that I do anything with regards to you that’s respectful. The best you can hope for from me is sceptical neutrality and courageous trust. That’s it. That’s what you get from me.
I think not. Calling a notion a principle need not make it so. I prefer to regard the Anna Karenina Principle as a hypothesis to be tested. While it may hold in some cases, it likely does not hold in all or indeed most cases. If it did, then the factors that enable happiness (well-being) would - necessarily - be necessary ones, and that flies in the face of what the evidence actually shows. Conversely, the factors that make happiness difficult to attain would - again necessarily - be damaging and insurmountable in all cases. That too flies in the face of what the evidence actually shows.
In response to an earlier comment, “expert opinion” is very different than “peer review science.” Expert opinion is limited to the experiences/knowledge of one or more experts and is better than nothing. Peer-review is very different; it means that scientists have had their studies scrupulously critiqued and challenged by other researchers (usually double-blind) before publication. The publications have been vetted – some journals being more thorough and rigorous than others. The VIA Survey is the only peer-reviewed survey of strengths; there are many others put forth by independent, for-profit companies that conduct their own “internal” (usually unpublished) researched. For brief summaries and citations of over 180 studies of character strengths in recent years (mostly peer-reviewed), go to this link here: