Author Topic: The Happiness Hypothesis  (Read 2943 times)


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The Happiness Hypothesis
« on: March 12, 2012, 02:59:10 PM »
I just started reading the above mentioned book by Jonathan Haidt. The subtitle is "Putting Ancient Wisdom and Philosophy to the Test of Modern Science". So far (after 3 chapters) it seems very interesting.

It's premise is to explore the human mind and routes to happiness through using ancient wisdom as a sort of guide as well as to illustrate to what extend ancient philosophers and spiritual guides actually understood the mind (quite well in some cases), and then compare and contrast with what is supported by science. Buddhism and meditation of course is central to that, as meditation is one of the few spiritual practices that consistently performs well under scientific scrutiny, and a lot of Buddhist concepts of the mind fit reasonably well with what is supported by the science.

One of the really interesting parts of it to me so far is how it relates concepts from Buddhism, such as non-attachment, to actual neurological effects and reasoning.

Anyone else here that have read this book? Thoughts? Particularly interesting parts?
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 03:51:02 PM by Vidar »


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Re: The Happiness Hypothesis
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2012, 12:54:33 PM »
Ive read it a while ago and I found most of it interesting. There are interesting parts how happiness is really relative: a quadriplegic and a lottery winner will most probably return to their prior happiness level once they adjust to the new situation, for example.

So thriving for more might not be the answer to happiness - which is unfortunate for a large number of people, as happiness seems always a step further, but in reality it just can't be reached this way. Tell this to any careerist and they will call you nuts - as their life becomes meaningless if they accept this fact.

The conclusions are not really aligned with my (current) view, but non the less, a fine book.

There are better books on neuroscience and meditation, for example Buddha's Brain

Note: I read too much and practice way too little


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