Happiness: A Philosopher's Guide

Happiness: A Philosopher's Guide


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612195209
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
Publication date: 04/12/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 588,568
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

FRÉDÉRIC LENOIR is a philosopher, sociologist, and religious historian, and the author of numerous essays, books, and novels translated into over twenty languages. He is a professor at L’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, one of France’s elite universities, and is the editor of Le Monde des religions, a bimonthly magazine that is part of France’s leading newspaper, Le Monde. He is also the producer and host of the weekly program about religion and philosophy on France Culture radio.

ANDREW BROWNs most recent translations include works by Proust, Zola, Flaubert, Stendhal, Rabelais, and Baudelaire.

Table of Contents



1 Loving the Life You Lead

2 In the Garden of Pleasures, with Aristotle and Epicurus

3 Giving Meaning to Life

4 Voltaire and the Happy Idiot

5 Does Every Human Being Wish to Be Happy?

6 Happiness Is Not of This World: Socrates, Jesus, Kant

7 On the Art of Being Oneself

8 Schopenhauer: Happiness Lies in Our Sensibility

9 Does Money Make Us Happy?

10 The Emotional Brain

11 On the Art of Being Attentive . . . and Dreaming

12 We Are What We Think

13 The Time of a Life

14 Can We Be Happy Without Other People?

15 The Contagiousness of Happiness

16 Individual Happiness and Collective Happiness

17 Can the Quest for Happiness Make Us Unhappy?

18 From Desire to Boredom: When Happiness Is Impossible

19 The Smile of the Buddha and Epictetus

20 The Laughter of Montaigne and Chuang Tzu

21 The Joy of Spinoza and Ma Anandamayi




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