Books

Happiness

A Philosopher’s Guide

208 Pages

Published April 2016

Happiness
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About the Book

A huge bestseller in Europe, Frederic Lenoir鈥檚 Happiness is an exciting journey that examines how history鈥檚 greatest philosophers and religious figures have answered life鈥檚 most fundamental question: What is happiness and how do I achieve it?

From the ancient Greeks on鈥攆rom Aristotle, Plato, and Chuang Tzu to the Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad; from Voltaire, Spinoza, and Schopenhauer to Kant, Freud, and even modern neuroscientists鈥擫enoir 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:

路 Do we have a duty to be happy?
路 Is there a connection between individual and collective happiness?
路 Is happiness contagious?
路 Is there a difference between pleasure and happiness?
路 Can unhappiness and happiness coexist?
路 Does our happiness depend on our luck?

Understanding how civilization鈥檚 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.

Table of Contents

Contents

Prologue

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


Epilogue

Notes

Bibliography

Praises

鈥淎n entertaining and affable guide to the topic of happiness. Jacques Pr茅vert once wrote that ‘recognized happiness from the noise it made as it left.’ Mr. Lenoir does his best to help us hear it as it arrives.”
Wall Street Journal

鈥淎 brief though well-considered guide to a wide range of the many schools of thought regarding contentment, joy and happiness.”
Kirkus Reviews

鈥淔r茅d茅ric Lenoir takes us through a philosophical journey that provokes thinking and encourages acting. Reading Happiness can make your life’s journey a happier one.鈥
Tal Ben-Shahar, author of Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment

鈥淔r茅d茅ric Lenoir’s Happiness is a skillful, entertaining blend of philosophy and science that seeks to answer a question that thinkers have been posing for centuries: what does it mean to be happy? Happiness is a tough subject to tackle well. Fr茅d茅ric Lenoir creates a journey that is as beautiful as it is thought-provoking.”
Maria Konnikova, bestselling author of Mastermind
鈥淎n entertaining and affable guide to the topic of happiness. Jacques Pr茅vert once wrote that ‘recognized happiness from the noise it made as it left.’ Mr. Lenoir does his best to help us hear it as it arrives.”
Wall Street Journal

鈥淎 brief though well-considered guide to a wide range of the many schools of thought regarding contentment, joy and happiness.”
Kirkus Reviews

鈥淔r茅d茅ric Lenoir takes us through a philosophical journey that provokes thinking and encourages acting. Reading Happiness can make your life’s journey a happier one.鈥
Tal Ben-Shahar, author of Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment

鈥淔r茅d茅ric Lenoir’s Happiness is a skillful, entertaining blend of philosophy and science that seeks to answer a question that thinkers have been posing for centuries: what does it mean to be happy? Happiness is a tough subject to tackle well. Fr茅d茅ric Lenoir creates a journey that is as beautiful as it is thought-provoking.”
Maria Konnikova, bestselling author of Mastermind
鈥淎n entertaining and affable guide to the topic of happiness. Jacques Pr茅vert once wrote that ‘recognized happiness from the noise it made as it left.’ Mr. Lenoir does his best to help us hear it as it arrives.”
Wall Street Journal

鈥淎 brief though well-considered guide to a wide range of the many schools of thought regarding contentment, joy and happiness.”
Kirkus Reviews

鈥淔r茅d茅ric Lenoir takes us through a philosophical journey that provokes thinking and encourages acting. Reading Happiness can make your life’s journey a happier one.鈥
Tal Ben-Shahar, author of Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment

鈥淔r茅d茅ric Lenoir’s Happiness is a skillful, entertaining blend of philosophy and science that seeks to answer a question that thinkers have been posing for centuries: what does it mean to be happy? Happiness is a tough subject to tackle well. Fr茅d茅ric Lenoir creates a journey that is as beautiful as it is thought-provoking.”
Maria Konnikova, bestselling author of Mastermind

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