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Bringing to life scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, this bestselling book reveals what scientists have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, and about our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there. • Why are lovers quicker to forgive their partners for infidelity than for leaving dirty dishes in the sink? • Why will sighted people pay more to avoid going blind than blind people will pay to regain their sight? • Why do dining companions insist on ordering different meals instead of getting what they really want? • Why do pigeons seem to have such excellent aim; why can’t we remember one song while listening to another; and why does the line at the grocery store always slow down the moment we join it? In this brilliant, witty, and accessible book, renowned Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert describes the foibles of imagination and illusions of foresight that cause each of us to misconceive our tomorrows and misestimate our satisfactions. With penetrating insight and sparkling prose, Gilbert explains why we seem to know so little about the hearts and minds of the people we are about to become. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Utilizing sophisticated methodology and three decades of research by the world's leading expert on happiness, Happiness challenges the present thinking of the causes and consequences of happiness and redefines our modern notions of happiness. shares the results of three decades of research on our notions of happiness covers the most important advances in our understanding of happiness offers readers unparalleled access to the world's leading experts on happiness provides "real world" examples that will resonate with general readers as well as scholars Winner of the 2008 PSP Prose Award for Excellence in Psychology, Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers
Drawing on her own research with thousands of people, psychologist Lyubomirsky has pioneered a detailed yet easy-to-follow plan to increase happiness in our day-to-day lives--in the short and long term. This book that offers a guide to understanding whath
Happiness: A History draws on a multitude of sources, including art and architecture, poetry and scripture, music and theology, and literature and myth, to offer a sweeping history of man's most elusive yet coveted goal. Ranging from psychology to genetics to the invention of the “smiley face,” McMahon follows the great pursuit of happiness through to the present day, showing how our modern search continues to generate new forms of pleasure, but also new forms of pain. Reprint.
Inspired by Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas, Happiness and the Christian Moral Life argues that the central question of ethics is the meaning and nature of happiness. In the Christian life, happiness is inseparable from goodness, particularly from a way of life that helps us grow together in the goodness of God. This book attempts to show what such a life might look like and how it might change our understanding of Christian ethics.
Anthropology has long shied away from examining how human beings may lead happy and fulfilling lives. This book, however, shows that the ethnographic examination of well-being--defined as "the optimal state for an individual, a community, and a society"--and the comparison of well-being within and across societies is a new and important area for anthropological inquiry. Distinctly different in different places, but also reflecting our common humanity, well-being is intimately linked to the idea of happiness and its pursuits. Noted anthropological researchers have come together in this volume to examine well-being in a range of diverse ways and to investigate it in a range of settings: from the Peruvian Amazon, the Australian outback, and the Canadian north, to India, China, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States. Gordon Mathews is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has written What Makes Life Worth Living? How Japanese and Americans Make Sense of Their Worlds (1996) and Global Culture /Individual Identity: Searching for Home in the Cultural Supermarket (2000), and co-written Hong Kong, China: Learning to Belong to a Nation (2007); he has co-edited Consuming Hong Kong (2001) and Japan's Changing Generations (2004). Carolina Izquierdo is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for the Everyday Lives of Families (CELF) at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research has centered on health and well-being among the Matsigenka in the Peruvian Amazon, the Mapuche in Chile, and middle-class families in the United States.
This book provides a comprehensive analysis of Kant's treatment of happiness in ethics. It considers the definition of happiness and the possible roles happiness may serve in ethics. It argues against critics who maintain that Kant's deontological ethic rejects happiness and against critics who assert that Kant's ethic is, in fact, consequential and concerned above all with ends such as happiness. By pointing to a system that organizes Kant's various claims about happiness, the book supports the view that happiness has positive roles to play in Kant's ethic.
Happiness Is Overrated highlights the greatest thinking on the concept of happiness from classical philosophers such as Plato, to contemporary sociologists and psychologists. It includes practical advice on how to attain happiness, but argues that happiness is not the greatest personal good. Ultimately, the greatest personal good is realized in leading a robustly meaningful, valuable life.
In classical and medieval times, happiness was defined as 'well-being, ' a notion that included moral goodness. Today happiness is most often defined as 'well-feeling, ' and identified with subjective states such as satisfaction and peace of mind. Deal Hudson argues that the prevailing view is dangerous in politics as well as ethics, creating individuals with no other sense of obligation than finding personal satisfaction, regardless of the moral and spiritual cost to themselves and others. Hudson calls for a return to the classical tradition: no one should be called 'happy' who cannot also be called morally good. However, a contemporary version of happiness should also go beyond the classical notion by making room in the happy life for suffering and passion. Using the history of the idea of happiness as a backdrop to a critique of contemporary views, Hudson examines happiness from philosophical, religious, psychological, sociological, literary, and political points of view--for example, he shows how the tension between the two definitions of happiness is at the heart of the Declaration of Independence. The result is an excellent overview of the history of an idea as well as a compelling argument for moral and political change in our time.
This book is a welcome consolidation and extension of the recent expanding debates on happiness and economics. Happiness and economics, as a new field for research, is now of pivotal interest particularly to welfare economists and psychologists.
Argues that happiness can be a learned and cultivated behavior, explaining how every person possesses at least five of twenty-four profiled strengths that can be built on in order to improve life.
The search for happiness is quintessentially human—a concept that has no bearing on any other creature on earth yet figures foremost among our deepest desires. In the realm of hard science, the journey to happiness is still in its infancy; the final destination, uncertain. The Happiness Trip is a lucid and passionate approach to the science of happiness and its conditioning factors: emotions, stress, hormonal flows and aging, as well as the social, economic, cultural and religious aspects associated with the emotion. "We have set out on the unknown waters of our potential happiness with no previous knowledge, no maps. There are no models in nature. It is only recently that the scientific community developed technical instruments to measure the impact of emotions and stress. These have given rise in turn to the search for happiness, which immediately burst onto the field of scientific analysis."
Since the earliest days of philosophy, thinkers have debated the meaning of the term happiness and the nature of the good life. But it is only in recent years that the study of happiness—or “hedonics”—has developed into a formal field of inquiry, cutting across a broad range of disciplines and offering insights into a variety of crucial questions of law and public policy. Law and Happinessbrings together the best and most influential thinkers in the field to explore the question of what makes up happiness—and what factors can be demonstrated to increase or decrease it. Martha Nussbaum offers an account of the way that hedonics can productively be applied to psychology, Cass R. Sunstein considers the unexpected relationship between happiness and health problems, Matthew Adler and Eric A. Posner view hedonics through the lens of cost-benefit analysis, David A. Weisbach considers the relationship between happiness and taxation, and Mark A. Cohen examines the role crime—and fear of crime—can play in people’s assessment of their happiness, and much more. The result is a kaleidoscopic overview of this increasingly prominent field, offering surprising new perspectives and incisive analyses that will have profound implications on public policy.
Drawing on more that 2,500 years of Buddhist tradition and teaching, the spiritual leader demonstrates how to confront the negative emotions, stresses, and obstacles of everyday life in order to find the source of inner peace.
The Promise of Happiness is a provocative cultural critique of the imperative to be happy. It asks what follows when we make our desires and even our own happiness conditional on the happiness of others: “I just want you to be happy”; “I’m happy if you’re happy.” Combining philosophy and feminist cultural studies, Sara Ahmed reveals the affective and moral work performed by the “happiness duty,” the expectation that we will be made happy by taking part in that which is deemed good, and that by being happy ourselves, we will make others happy. Ahmed maintains that happiness is a promise that directs us toward certain life choices and away from others. Happiness is promised to those willing to live their lives in the right way. Ahmed draws on the intellectual history of happiness, from classical accounts of ethics as the good life, through seventeenth-century writings on affect and the passions, eighteenth-century debates on virtue and education, and nineteenth-century utilitarianism. She engages with feminist, antiracist, and queer critics who have shown how happiness is used to justify social oppression, and how challenging oppression causes unhappiness. Reading novels and films including Mrs. Dalloway, The Well of Loneliness, Bend It Like Beckham, and Children of Men, Ahmed considers the plight of the figures who challenge and are challenged by the attribution of happiness to particular objects or social ideals: the feminist killjoy, the unhappy queer, the angry black woman, and the melancholic migrant. Through her readings she raises critical questions about the moral order imposed by the injunction to be happy.
Ancient ethical theories, based on the notions of virtue and happiness, have struck many as an attractive alternative to modern theories. But we cannot find out whether this is true until we understand ancient ethics--and to do this we need to examine the basic structure of ancient ethical theory, not just the details of one or two theories. In this book, Annas brings together the results of a wide-ranging study of ancient ethical philosophy and presents it in a way that is easily accessible to anyone with an interest in ancient or modern ethics. She examines the fundamental notions of happiness and virtue, the role of nature in ethical justification and the relation between concern for self and concern for others. Her careful examination of the ancient debates and arguments shows that many widespread assumptions about ancient ethics are quite mistaken. Ancient ethical theories are not egoistic, and do not depend for their acceptance on metaphysical theories of a teleological kind. Most centrally, they are recognizably theories of morality, and the ancient disputes about the place of virtue in happiness can be seen as akin to modern disputes about the demands of morality.
Wayne Sumner presents an original theory of the nature and philosophical importance of welfare or well-being. He argues, against currently dominant rival views, that welfare is closely connected to happiness or life satisfaction, and that it is the only basis for value ethics.
Explores what we might teach if we take happiness seriously as an aim of education.
"This release is an important contribution to the literary discourse about women's lives, sexuality, politics and popular culture in early 20th-century Russia." —Publishers Weekly One of the most sensationally popular and influential of all pre-Revolutionary novels, ÂKeys to Happiness is set against a panorama of Russian society on the eve of World War I. It tells the stormy tale of Manya Yeltsova, a Russian "new woman" who pursues her dreams and passions as a dancer and free spirit who captivates, among others, a Jewish socialist tycoon and a reactionary Russian nobleman. At the time of its publication, the novel crossed the boundaries of both gender and class to define a new type of literature in Russian society. The editors' informative introduction places the novel within its cultural, political, and social context and makes clear for today's readers its literary and historical importance.
For those already drawn by the allure of happiness studies, Dutt and Radcliff here provide a rich tour of the frontier in the field. And for curmudgeons, this work goes far to defuse the skeptical reflex. It is subtle, intelligent, wide-ranging, informative and even readable throughout. James K. Galbraith, The University of Texas at Austin, US This timely and important book presents a unique study of happiness from both economic and political perspectives. It offers an overview of contemporary research on the emergent field of happiness studies and contains contributions by some of the leading figures in the field. General issues such as the history and conceptualization of happiness are explored, and the underpinning theories and empirics analyzed. The ways in which economic and political factors both separately and interactively affect the quality of human life are examined, illustrating the importance of a self-consciously multi-disciplinary approach to the field. In particular, the effects of consumption, income growth, inequality, discrimination, democracy, the nature of government policies, and labor organization on happiness are scrutinized. In conclusion, the contributors prescribe what can and should be done at individual and societal levels to improve human well-being and happiness. This wide-ranging and interdisciplinary book makes a unique contribution to the literature. As such, it will prove a fascinating read for students and scholars of economics, political science, psychology, sociology, and of course, to those with a special interest in the analysis of happiness and human well-being.