Exploring Happiness : From Aristotle to Brain Science

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  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2010-08-24
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
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Distinguished moral philosopher Bok ponders the nature of happiness and its place in philosophical thinking and writing throughout the ages to the latest theories advanced by psychologists, geneticists, and neuroscientists.

In this smart and timely textbook, with nuance and elegance, Bok explores notions of happiness - from Greek philosophers to Desmond Tutu, Charles Darwin, Iris Murdoch, and the Dalai Lama - as well as the latest theories advanced by psychologists, economists, geneticists, and neuroscientists. Eschewing abstract theorizing, Bok weaves in a wealth of firsthand observations about happiness from ordinary people as well as renowned figures.

This may well be the most complete picture of happiness yet. This book is also a clarion call to think clearly and sensitively about happiness. Bringing together very different disciplines provides Bok with a unique opportunity to consider the role of happiness in wider questions of how we should lead our lives and treat one another - concerns that don't often figure in today's happiness equation.

How should we pursue, weigh, value, or limit our own happiness, or that of others, now and in the future? Compelling and perceptive, "Exploring Happiness" shines a welcome new light on the heart of the human condition.

Author Biography

Sissela Bok is Senior Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, and a moral philosopher of international renown. A former member of the Pulitzer Prize Board, Bok is a Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and sits on the editorial boards of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Common Knowledge, and Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. Her many books include the seminal Lying, Secrets, A Strategy for Peace, Mayhem, and Common Values. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Luckp. 1
Experiencep. 11
Discordant Definitionsp. 35
˘On the Happy Life÷p. 59
Measurementp. 83
Beyond Temperamentp. 107
Is Lasting Happiness Achievable?p. 132
Illusionp. 155
The Scope of Happinessp. 173
Notesp. 179
Indexp. 203
Acknowledgmentsp. 217
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Deeply researched and profoundly enjoyable March 29, 2011
This is deeply researched and profoundly enjoyable textbook gets to the heart of the new intellectual fashions in studying human happiness. Sissela Bok's breathtaking tour of history and cultures from antiquity to today's brain science is quite the best grounding needed by any serious researcher into this tricky domain. Most efforts to define "happiness," let alone measure its many expressions whether subjective or objective, still fall short.
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Exploring Happiness : From Aristotle to Brain Science: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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