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The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by [Jonathan Haidt]
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The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 2,480 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, lamented St. Paul, and this engrossing scientific interpretation of traditional lore backs him up with hard data. Citing Plato, Buddha and modern brain science, psychologist Haidt notes the mind is like an "elephant" of automatic desires and impulses atop which conscious intention is an ineffectual "rider." Haidt sifts Eastern and Western religious and philosophical traditions for other nuggets of wisdom to substantiate—and sometimes critique—with the findings of neurology and cognitive psychology. The Buddhist-Stoic injunction to cast off worldly attachments in pursuit of happiness, for example, is backed up by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's studies into pleasure. And Nietzsche's contention that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger is considered against research into post-traumatic growth. An exponent of the "positive psychology" movement, Haidt also offers practical advice on finding happiness and meaning. Riches don't matter much, he observes, but close relationships, quiet surroundings and short commutes help a lot, while meditation, cognitive psychotherapy and Prozac are equally valid remedies for constitutional unhappiness. Haidt sometimes seems reductionist, but his is an erudite, fluently written, stimulating reassessment of age-old issues. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From Booklist

Using the wisdom culled from the world's greatest civilizations as a foundation, social psychologist Haidt comes to terms with 10 Great Ideas, viewing them through a contemporary filter to learn which of their lessons may still apply to modern lives. He first discusses how the mind works and then examines the Golden Rule ("Reciprocity is the most important tool for getting along with people"). Next, he addresses the issue of happiness itself--where does it come from?--before exploring the conditions that allow growth and development. He also dares to answer the question that haunts most everyone--What is the meaning of life?--by again drawing on ancient ideas and incorporating recent research findings. He concludes with the question of meaning: Why do some find it? Balancing ancient wisdom and modern science, Haidt consults great minds of the past, from Buddha to Lao Tzu and from Plato to Freud, as well as some not-so-greats: even Dr. Phil is mentioned. Fascinating stuff, accessibly expressed. June Sawyers
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B003E749TE
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Basic Books; 1st edition (December 26, 2006)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ December 26, 2006
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 3240 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 300 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 2,480 ratings

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Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University's Stern School of Business. He received his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992 and then did post-doctoral research at the University of Chicago and in Orissa, India. He taught at the University of Virginia for 16 years before moving to NYU-Stern in 2011. He was named one of the &quot;top global thinkers&quot; by Foreign Policy magazine, and one of the &quot;top world thinkers&quot; by Prospect magazine.

His research focuses on morality - its emotional foundations, cultural variations, and developmental course. He began his career studying the negative moral emotions, such as disgust, shame, and vengeance, but then moved on to the understudied positive moral emotions, such as admiration, awe, and moral elevation. He is the co-developer of Moral Foundations theory, and of the research site YourMorals.org. He is a co-founder of HeterodoxAcademy.org, which advocates for viewpoint diversity in higher education. He uses his research to help people understand and respect the moral motives of their enemies (see CivilPolitics.org, and see his TED talks). He is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom; The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion; and (with Greg Lukianoff) The Coddling of the American Mind: How good intentions and bad ideas are setting a generation up for failure. For more information see www.JonathanHaidt.com.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
2,480 global ratings

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