Jonathan Haidt skillfully combines two genres-philosophical wisdom and scientific research-delighting the reader with surprising insights. He explains, for example, why we have such difficulty controlling ourselves and sticking to our plans; why no achievement brings lasting happiness, yet a few changes in your life can have profound effects, and why even confirmed atheists experience spiritual elevation. In a stunning final chapter, Haidt addresses the grand question "How can I live a meaningful life?," offering an original answer that draws on the rich inspiration of both philosophy and science.
"The Happiness Hypothesis is a wonderful and nuanced book that provides deep insight into the 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 the brightest. His highly original work on elevation and awe -- two long-neglected emotions -- adds a new weave to that tapestry. A truly inspiring book."-- David M. Buss, author of *The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating
"In this beautifully written book, Jonathan Haidt shows us the deep connection that exists between cutting-edge psychological research and the wisdom of the ancients. It is inspiring to see how much modern psychology informs life's most central and persistent questions" -- Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
"In our quest for happiness, we must find a balance between modern science and ancient wisdom, between East and West, and between "left brain" and "right brain" risquÃ©on Haidt has struck that balance perfectly, and in doing so has given us the most brilliant and lucid analysis ofvirtue and well-being in the entire literature of positive psychology. For the reader who seeks to understand happiness, my advice is: Begin with Haidt." -- Martin E.P. Seligman, Director, Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Authentic Happiness
"Haidt is a fine guide on this journey between past and present, discussing the current complexities of psychological theory with clarity and humor. . . Haidt's is an open-minded, robust look at philosophy, psychological fact and spiritual mystery, of scientific rationalism and the unknowable ephemeral -- an honest inquiry that concludes that the best life is, perhaps, one lived in the balance of opposites." -- Bookpage*