Happiness: A Philosopher's Guide by Frederic Lenoir, Andrew Brown

By Frederic Lenoir, Andrew Brown

A large bestseller in Europe, Frederic Lenoir’s Happiness is a thrilling trip that examines how history’s maximum philosophers and spiritual figures have responded life’s such a lot basic question: what's happiness and the way do I in achieving it?

From the traditional Greeks on—from Aristotle, Plato, and Chuang Tzu to the Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad; from Voltaire, Spinoza, and Schopenhauer to Kant, Freud, or even sleek neuroscientists—Lenoir considers the concept that precise and lasting happiness is certainly possible.

In transparent language, Lenoir concisely surveys what the best thinkers of all time have needed to say at the topic, and, with fascinating prose, increases provocative questions:
 
·      can we have an obligation to feel free?
·      Is there a connection among person and collective happiness?
·      Is happiness contagious?
·      Is there a distinction among excitement and happiness?
·      Can disappointment and happiness coexist?
·      Does our happiness rely on our luck?
 
knowing how civilization’s top minds have responded these questions, Lenoir indicates, not just makes for a desirable interpreting adventure, but additionally presents a manner for us to work out us how happiness, that the majority elusive of emotions, is possible in our personal lives.

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Extra info for Happiness: A Philosopher's Guide

Example text

The more they progress, the more pleasure they will have in playing, and they’ll be able to try and make a career in music. If they succeed, they’ll be happy to have realized their deepest aspiration, but they will have paid the price through their choices, commitment, perseverance and labor. Other people might harbor the same dream, but cannot organize their lives in such a way as to achieve this goal and will continue to play as mere dilettantes; they’ll keep saying to their friends, as the years go by, that they feel they have a “musician’s soul,” that they would really love to live their passion, but for lack of effort and perseverance these people will never realize their desire and will be condemned to frustration.

So when they want to talk about a “subjective well-being” that would be more akin to that complex experience, psychologists and sociologists have drawn up surveys designed to grasp it overall, and over a certain period of time: How do individuals assess their lives “overall”? It’s not just a question about one’s present sensations. After all, people can feel a temporary lack of well-being, due for example to an illness or a professional anxiety that has cropped up the very same day of the survey, but may still give a positive response to the question if they know that, overall, they are satisfied with their lives.

Just as birds live in the air and fish live in water, everyone needs to move in the atmosphere that suits them.

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