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The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science [Hardcover]

Jonathan Haidt
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

'Superbly argued, crystal clear and intelligent... And you know what? Reading it did actually make this reviewer happier.' -- Arena

‘A delightful book... This is by some margin the most intellectually substantial book to arise from the ‘Positive Psychology’ movement.’ -- Nature

Book Description

A brilliantly original exploration of what we can learn about the meaning of human life and how we should live our lives, drawing both on the wisdom of the great thinkers and on the insights of modern science. For all readers of Alain de Botton. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

A brilliantly original exploration of what we can learn about the meaning of human life and how we should live our lives, drawing both on the wisdom of the great thinkers and on the insights of modern science. For all readers of Alain de Botton.

From the Inside Flap

Every culture rests on a bedrock of folk wisdom handed down through generations. The pronouncements of philosophers are homespun by our grandmothers, and find their way into our common sense: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Happiness comes from within.

But are these ‘truths’ really true? Today many of us seem to prefer to cling to the notion that a little bit more money, love or success will make us truly happy. Are we wrong?

In The Happiness Hypothesis, psychologist Jonathan Haidt exposes traditional wisdom to the scrutiny of modern science, delivering startling insights. We learn why constraints are good for us and choice is (sometimes) bad; where true love comes from; why conscious thought us not as important as we might think; and why we yearn to become part of something larger than ourselves.

Drawing on the rich inspiration of both philosophy and science, The Happiness Hypothesis is a remarkable, original and provocative book – ancient wisdom for our time.

From the Back Cover

'A wonderful and nuanced book that provides deep insight into some of the most important questions in life - why are we here? What kind of life should we lead? What paths lead to happiness? From the ancient philosophers to cutting edge scientists, Haidt weaves a tapestry of the best and brightest. His highly original work on elevation and awe - two long neglected emotions - adds a new weave to the tapestry. A truly inspiring book.' David M. Buss

Every culture rests on a bedrock of folk wisdom handed down through generations. The pronouncements of philosophers are homespun by our grandmothers, and find their way into our common sense: what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Happiness comes from within.

But are these 'truths' really true?

'Jonathan Haidt leaves no doubt about the importance of emotion in the creation of personal meaning... This is a delightful and courageous book.' Antonio Damasio

'This fresh and original book goes to the heart of what people have found out about happiness, across cultures and times. Enjoyable, important, and eminently readable.' Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jonathan Haidt teaches psychology at the University of Virginia. This is his first book for the general reader.
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