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.
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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.
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.
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.
What exactly is happiness? Can we measure it? Why are some people happy and others not? And is there a drug that could eliminate all unhappiness? People all over the world, and throughout the ages, have thought about happiness, argued about its nature, and, most of all, desired it. But why do we have such a strong instinct to pursue happiness? And if happiness is good in itself, why haven't we simply evolved to be happier? Daniel Nettle uses the results of the latest psychological studies to ask what makes people happy and unhappy, what happiness really is, and to examine our urge to achieve it. Along the way we look at brain systems, at mind-altering drugs, and how happiness is now marketed to us as a commodity. Nettle concludes that while it may be unrealistic to expect lasting happiness, our evolved tendency to seek happiness drives us to achieve much that is worthwhile in itself. What is more, it seems to be not your particular circumstances that define whether you are happy so much as your attitude towards life. Happiness gives us the latest scientific insights into the nature of our feelings of well-being, and what these imply for how we might live our lives.
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.
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.
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.