Feeling Good: The Science of Well-Beingby C. Robert Cloninger
Pub. Date: 05/28/2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
All human beings have spontaneous needs for happiness, self-understanding, and love. In Feeling Good: The Science of Well Being, psychiatrist Robert Cloninger describes a way to coherent living that satisfies these strong basic needs through growth in the uniquely human gift of self-awareness. The scientific findings that led Dr. Cloninger to expand his own… See more details below
All human beings have spontaneous needs for happiness, self-understanding, and love. In Feeling Good: The Science of Well Being, psychiatrist Robert Cloninger describes a way to coherent living that satisfies these strong basic needs through growth in the uniquely human gift of self-awareness. The scientific findings that led Dr. Cloninger to expand his own views in a stepwise manner during 30 years of research and clinical experience are clearly presented so that readers can consider the validity of his viewpoint for themselves. The principles of well-being are based on a non-reductive scientific paradigm that integrates findings from all the biomedical and psychosocial sciences. Reliable methods are described for measuring human thought and social relationships at each step along the path of self-aware consciousness. Practical mental exercises for stimulating the growth of self-awareness are also provided. The methods are supported by data from brain imaging, genetics of personality, and longitudinal biopsychosocial studies.
Feeling Good: The Science of Well-Being will be of value to anyone involved in the sciences of the mind or the treatment of mental disorders. It will also interest theologians, philosophers, social scientists, and lay readers because it provides contemporary scientific concepts and language for addressing the perennial human questions about being, knowledge, and conduct.
- Oxford University Press, USA
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 9.30(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Table of Contents
1. A brief philosophy of well-being
2. The search for an adequate psychology
3. The measurement and movement of human thought
4. The social psychology of transcendentalism
5. Psychophysical theories of contemplation
6. Psychophysiology of awareness
7. The epigenetic revolution
8. The irreductible triad of well-being
Appendix: The Quantitative Measurement of Thought
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Dr Cloninger talks about well being but he is well known to have been a witness in trials against tobacco companies, supporting the tobacco industry by testifying that nicotine addiction and cigarettes somehow don't get people "hooked," and blames it on the smokers themselves. He has been paid handsomely (tens of thousands of dollars) by tobacco companies to support them in litigation. So how can he now write a book on health and well being when he has this terrible record and has disagreed with almost every doctor in the world that cigarettes and the nicotine in them are addictive and a massive health problem that can be significantly helped by reducing the tobacco industry's grip on people?
Perhaps the most important book written in the last half century. In addition to the inevitable impact that it will have on the fields of psychology, neuroscience, and genetics, the implications of 'Feeling Good: The Science of Well-Being' on theories in the philosophy of mind, metaphysics, epistemology, and other associated disciplines is staggering. As a student of history and philosophy, this book was of enormous help to me in tracing the concept of well-being throughout the centuries and the timeless attributes and characteristics that lead to lasting harmony and happiness. I was also deeply touched by the author¿s ability to develop a variety of notions related to well-being in the context of the natural sciences and especially the field of quantum mechanics. Although the book integrates a number of different areas of study, it presents these topics in such a way that both the everyday reader and the specialist can benefit immensely from every chapter. Dr. Cloninger offers insights on the notion of well-being that are very different from the vague and often flaky treatments of the subject given by other authors. His observations are both clear and profound, a combination of attributes rarely found in writings about the deeper questions of human consciousness and existence.
Why do some people almost always act or feel as if they are permanently miserable, while others seem to live happily in harmony with themselves and unity with the world around them? How is this balanced state of well-being achieved? Dr. Cloninger, drawing from his long experience in psychiatric practice and research, in his encyclopedic study 'Feeling Good: The Science of Well-Being', with references to almost all fields of science, offers the answers to these questions and presents a comprehensive argument that the growth of self-awareness provides a path to well-being. It explores the most fundamental questions of human self-aware consciousness in a readable and convincing way. We live in an age when great advances are taking place: in Genetics, in Medicine, in Neurosciences, and in technologies. We are finally beginning to understand how the whole genome works, and how the interplay between complex adaptive structures at different levels, from metabolic networks, to neural networks in the brain, to internet networks, leads to coherent functioning of the whole. Yet, the state of human well-being seems to be largely unaffected by this. It is listening to our psyche that will tell us how to overcome the internal conflicts and find our place in the world in a creative and satisfying way. If the issue is presented in dualistic way such that the different views are on the inevitable course of head-on collision, we may be sure that the issue is not well presented. 'The Science of Well-Being' explores the ways to find coherence and unity. Reading the book brings us closer to those rare moments in life when we realize, in the phrase of Apostle Paul, that although we may know in part, we are also a part of what we know. Enjoyable and though-provoking reading.
One of the first books that I have found that gives a liveable guideline to feeling good, a new approach. Anyone looking for a rock to stand on in the river of life, I can recommend this book might be that rock. It will help you get above it all, then merrily float down the river with an awareness never none before.
I bought this book because I have recently been thinking a lot about what makes a person happy. A close friend of mine knew this and recommended it to me. I was a bit wary because she is a scientist so I thought it may be over my head, but a few pages into the book, I realized it is not solely directed at the scientific community. As I continued reading, I was amazed with the candor and openness of Dr. Cloninger's writing. Much of the book felt more like a conversation than anything else. From the beginning, Dr. Cloninger is straight forward about his approach, giving the reader a short background in the evolution of his theories and ideas. Never had I heard a scientist so humbly reveal the changes in his research. In the course of underscoring the influences and aspects that can affect our happiness and well-being, he draws upon an amazing wealth of knowledge from just about every scientific and artistic field you can think of. If you are interested in science, art, philosophy, or spirituality, and how they relate to a person¿s well-being, this is a book you will get a lot out of. I¿m very interested to see the effects it will have within the scientific community. It has the potential to revolutionize the way scientists approach the human mind, and the human being.