Exploring Happiness: From Aristotle to Brain Science

Exploring Happiness: From Aristotle to Brain Science

Paperback

By (author) Sissela BOK

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  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 213mm x 18mm | 204g
  • Publication date: 11 July 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New Haven
  • ISBN 10: 0300178107
  • ISBN 13: 9780300178104
  • Sales rank: 225,153

Product description

In this smart and timely book, the distinguished moral philosopher Sissela Bok ponders the nature of happiness and its place in philosophical thinking and writing throughout the ages. 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.

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Author information

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.

Review quote

"'Sissela Bok makes sense of happiness for adults: what sort of happiness we can seek, and what lies beyond our grasp. The book illuminates 'the pursuit of happiness' in modern economics, psychiatry, and philosophy, but she addresses, in the end, any intelligent reader. Sissela Bok writes so clearly and directly that the reader is often caught up short, suddenly realizing that her arguments are always provocations to think more deeply. This is a wise book.' (Richard Sennett)"