Invulnerability : On Securing Happiness
Steven Luper analyzes the nature of happiness and compares two strategies of pursuit: the western approach known as 'optimizing', in which we try to bring about the satisfaction of our desires, and the eastern method known as 'adapting', in which we transform our desires so that nothing can hurt us."Luper's clearly written, yet heartfelt, book will serve to widen the narrow horizons of contemporary moral debate, and not just within academia". -- David E. Cooper University of Durham
- Hardback | 178 pages
- 165 x 241 x 18.29mm | 476g
- 13 Oct 1999
- Open Court Publishing Co ,U.S.
- Chicago, IL, United States
Back cover copy
There are two ways to pursue happiness. There is the 'Western' approach, known as 'optimizing, ' in which we try to bring about the satisfaction of our desires, and there is the 'Eastern' method, known as 'adapting, ' in which we transform our desires so that nothing can hurt us - we become invulnerable, even to such realities as death. In Invulnerability, Steven Luper analyzes the nature of happiness and compares the two strategies: optimizing and adapting. He investigates the claim made by some of the greatest thinkers (including Buddha, Socrates, Epicurus, and Epictetus) that the prospect of dying need not alarm us, and that we may be completely happy no matter what our circumstances. Professor Luper explains in detail how adaptation may be implemented, including the steps we must take if we are to adapt to death and every contingency which might undermine our happiness. He demonstrates that adapting, as a complete strategy, has shortcomings: if we did manage to alter our conception of happiness to guarantee ourselves the possibility of complete happiness despite premature death, our conception of happiness would be impoverished. And yet adapting can often be a useful alternative to optimizing.