[ View menu ]

Archive

new book – ‘Happiness: A Philosopher’s Guide’ by Frederic Lenoir

April 7, 2015

Happiness: A Philosopher's Guide

Happiness: A Philosopher’s Guide by Frederic Lenoir, tr. Andrew Brown (Melville House, 2015)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk), (UK kindle ed.)

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

Comments (0) - happiness,new books

new book – ‘A Significant Life: Human Meaning in a Silent Universe’ by Todd May

April 2, 2015

A Significant Life

A Significant Life: Human Meaning in a Silent Universe by Todd May (University of Chicago Press, 2015)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk), (UK kindle ed.)

Book description from the publisher:

What makes for a good life, or a beautiful one, or, perhaps most important, a meaningful one? Throughout history most of us have looked to our faith, our relationships, or our deeds for the answer. But in A Significant Life, philosopher Todd May offers an exhilarating new way of thinking about these questions, one deeply attuned to life as it actually is: a work in progress, a journey—and often a narrative. Offering moving accounts of his own life and memories alongside rich engagements with philosophers from Aristotle to Heidegger, he shows us where to find the significance of our lives: in the way we live them.

May starts by looking at the fundamental fact that life unfolds over time, and as it does so, it begins to develop certain qualities, certain themes. Our lives can be marked by intensity, curiosity, perseverance, or many other qualities that become guiding narrative values. These values lend meanings to our lives that are distinct from—but also interact with—the universal values we are taught to cultivate, such as goodness or happiness. Offering a fascinating examination of a broad range of figures—from music icon Jimi Hendrix to civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer, from cyclist Lance Armstrong to The Portrait of a Lady’s Ralph Touchett to Claus von Stauffenberg, a German officer who tried to assassinate Hitler—May shows that narrative values offer a rich variety of criteria by which to assess a life, specific to each of us and yet widely available. They offer us a way of reading ourselves, who we are, and who we might like to be.

Clearly and eloquently written, A Significant Life is a recognition and a comfort, a celebration of the deeply human narrative impulse by which we make—even if we don’t realize it—meaning for ourselves. It offers a refreshing way to think of an age-old question, of quite simply, what makes a life worth living.

Google Books preview:

Comments (0) - new books,self

new book – ‘The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction’ by Matthew B. Crawford

March 31, 2015

World Beyond Your Head

The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction by Matthew B. Crawford (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk), (UK kindle ed.)

Book description from the publisher:

A groundbreaking new book from the bestselling author of Shop Class as Soulcraft

In his bestselling book Shop Class as Soulcraft, Matthew B. Crawford explored the ethical and practical importance of manual competence, as expressed through mastery of our physical environment. In his brilliant follow-up, The World Beyond Your Head, Crawford investigates the challenge of mastering one’s own mind.

We often complain about our fractured mental lives and feel beset by outside forces that destroy our focus and disrupt our peace of mind. Any defense against this, Crawford argues, requires that we reckon with the way attention sculpts the self.

Crawford investigates the intense focus of ice hockey players and short-order chefs, the quasi-autistic behavior of gambling addicts, the familiar hassles of daily life, and the deep, slow craft of building pipe organs. He shows that our current crisis of attention is only superficially the result of digital technology, and becomes more comprehensible when understood as the coming to fruition of certain assumptions at the root of Western culture that are profoundly at odds with human nature.

The World Beyond Your Head makes sense of an astonishing array of common experience, from the frustrations of airport security to the rise of the hipster. With implications for the way we raise our children, the design of public spaces, and democracy itself, this is a book of urgent relevance to contemporary life.

Google Books preview:

See also: Author’s website

Comments (0) - cognitive science,consciousness,new books,self

new book – ‘The Little Book of Clarity: A Quick Guide to Focus and Declutter Your Mind’ by Jamie Smart

March 26, 2015

Little Book of Clarity

The Little Book of Clarity: A Quick Guide to Focus and Declutter Your Mind by Jamie Smart (Capstone, 2015)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk), (UK kindle ed.)

Book description from the publisher:

Imagine what you could achieve if you could only clear your mind

The Little Book of Clarity shows you how to clear your head and get things done. Based on bestselling book, Clarity, this new edition has been distilled to the essentials, getting right to the point. With no vague theory or superfluous anecdotes, this book gets you right to work reducing stress and boosting productivity by uncovering your mind’s in-built “self-clearing” capacity. As you begin to understand the concept of innate thinking, the benefits will start emerging in every corner of your life. As you think less, you’ll win more at work, at home, and at the game of life as a whole. You’ll rid your mind of clutter for good as you focus on what matters, and finally free up the time you need to pursue your dreams.

Life’s constant bombardment of “to-do” and “urgent” pushes your own priorities clear off the radar. Before you know it, you’re always busy, but not getting very much accomplished. Personal goals fall by the wayside as you struggle just to keep up with day-to-day life. This book shows you how to cut the noise and clear the fog, and start working on what matters to you. * Harness the power of insight and principles * Discover your true identity and innate wisdom * Build better relationships and stronger connections * Discard toxic goals and pursue authentic desires

Clarity is the mind’s natural state, a state to which it will always return if given the chance. Although it’s evident in children, most adults have had this ability conditioned out of them by our “go-go-go” society, leaving them mentally muddy, stressed, and ineffectual. The Little Book of Clarity helps you erase that conditioning and gain the peace of mind to live a life you love permanently.

Google Books preview:

See also: Author’s website

Comments (0) - new books,psychology

$4.99 kindle ebook on Amazon: ‘Rationality: From AI to Zombies’ by Eliezer Yudkowsky

March 22, 2015

Comments (0) - cognitive science,new books,psychology