Written on April 7, 2015
Happiness: A Philosopher’s Guide by Frederic Lenoir, tr. Andrew Brown (Melville House, 2015)
Book description from the publisher:
A huge bestseller in Europe, Frederic Lenoir’s Happiness is an exciting journey that examines how history’s greatest philosophers and religious figures have answered life’s most fundamental question: What is happiness and how do I achieve it?
From the ancient Greeks on—from Aristotle, Plato, and Chuang Tzu to the Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad; from Voltaire, Spinoza, and Schopenhauer to Kant, Freud, and even modern neuroscientists—Lenoir considers the idea that true and lasting happiness is indeed possible.
In clear language, Lenoir concisely surveys what the greatest thinkers of all time have had to say on the subject, and, with charming prose, raises provocative questions:
· Do we have a duty to be happy?
· Is there a connection between individual and collective happiness?
· Is happiness contagious?
· Is there a difference between pleasure and happiness?
· Can unhappiness and happiness coexist?
· Does our happiness depend on our luck?
Understanding how civilization’s best minds have answered those questions, Lenoir suggests, not only makes for a fascinating reading experience, but also provides a way for us to see us how happiness, that most elusive of feelings, is attainable in our own lives.
See also: Author’s website