What should I do, how should I live, and whom should I become?’ begins the introduction to Haidt’s fine book, The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, which seeks to synthesize modern psychological thought with ancient wisdom. The book is about what Haidt calls ‘ten Great ideas’ and what modern psychology has to say about them. He says that his intention is to ‘tell the best story I can about the causes of human flourishing, and the obstacles to well-being that we place in our own paths.’
The book is engaging, intellectually stimulating, and enjoyable. One reviewer called it ‘comforting’ and I think that’s a good description of it. There’s something really hopeful in knowing that people everywhere and everywhen struggle with the same questions and that there is some agreement, something ultimate, we can know about them.
Read it. Let me know what you think.