Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science
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.
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 we all 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 that virtue is often not its own reward, why extroverts really are happier than introverts, and why conscious thought is not as important as we might like to think…
Drawing on the rich inspiration of both philosophy and science, THE HAPPINESS HYPOTHESIS is a remarkable, original and provocative book – ancient wisdom in our time.
“Marvellous... Haidt...takes us on an extraordinary journey... I don't think I've ever read a book that laid out the contemporary understanding of the human condition with such simple clarity and sense.”
James Flint, Guardian
“A superbly argued, crystal clear and intelligent blend of new directions in contemporary experimental psychology with traditional philosophical thought... And you know what? Reading it did actually make this reviewer happier.”
“A delightful book... By some margin the most intellectually substantial book to arise from the 'Positive Psychology' movement.”
“Riveting... Brilliantly synthesising ancient cultural insights with modern psychology and even holding out some faint hope that your happiness, if not your tallness, might be marginally adjustable after all.”