Throughout history, happiness has been equated regularly with the highest historian Darrin M. McMahon argues that our modern belief in happiness is the. An intellectual history of man’s most elusive yet coveted goal. Historian McMahon argues that our modern belief in happiness is a recent development, the. “Excellent history” —The Economist. “From Herodotus and Aristotle through Locke and Rousseau down to Darwin, Marx and Freud. The musings on happiness.

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It’s been a few weeks since I picked it up, and I don’t see myself jcmahon to it. It’s extremely challenging to undertake a topic as broad as happiness and what human thought has been from Socrates up to the mcmaon time. This is a prospect that has gradually spread from the originally rather narrow universe of white men to include women, people of color, children—indeed, humanity as a whole.

Preview — Happiness by Darrin M. Aug 06, Kang rated it it was ok. I have to admire an author even willing to tackl It’s extremely challenging to undertake a topic as broad as happiness and what human thought has been from Socrates up to the present time.

Darrin M. McMahon

nappiness But as we all know, almost no one has it, no agrees what happiness is, and no one has the same answers on how to achieve it. And yet, in many ways, the incredulity expressed by educated Europeans in the earthquake’s aftermath is a more interesting index of received assumptions, for it demonstrates the degree to which such random disasters were becoming, if not less common, at least less expected.

We will be happy. Those who must frame their world by a preponderance of facts and factoids for the simple point to rise may enjoy this read.

To view it, click here. We should maximize the one and minimize the other, yielding the greatest happiness for the greatest number.

McMahon argues that our modern belief in happiness is the product of a dramatic revolution in human expectations carried out since the eighteenth century. This recognition of happiness as a motivating ideal led to its consecration in the Declaration of Independence. Today, human beings tend to think of happiness as a natural right.


McMahon elegantly expedites the discussion of happiness.

Whereas classical sages had aimed to cultivate a rarified ethical elite – attempting to bring happiness to a select circle of disciples, or at most to the active citizens of the polis – Enlightenment visionaries dreamed of bringing happiness to entire societies and even to humanity as a whole.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Paperbackpages. Their power to shock was magnified accordingly, but only because the predictability and security of daily existence were increasing, along with the ability to control the consequences of unforeseen disaster.

I have to admire an author even willing to tackle this. The ancients thought of happiness not as an emotional state but as an outcome of moral comportment.

A History of Happiness by Darrin M. McMahon, Ph.D. — YES! Magazine

Classical Age being about virtue, Medieval being about Christian piety, Ren For the philosophically inclined, I’d recommend this book. But it is also a relatively recent idea in the West which dates from the 17th and 18th centuries, a time that ushered in a dramatic shift in what human beings could legitimately hope to expect in and from their lives.

I am inclined to agree! McMahon’s big book made me far more happy than I expected it would. During the Enlightenment men and women were first introduced to the novel prospect that they could–in fact should–be happy in this life as opposed to the hereafter. It is not our natural state. Throughout McMahon leads the reader with strong, clear thinking, laying out his ideas with grace, both challenging and entertaining us in equal happlness.

Science is often painted as being opposed to matters of the spirit, but new discoveries by researchers like Michael McCullough, Robert Emmons, and hitsory others remind us how important non-materialistic, spiritual cultivation is to our happiness and well-being. McMahon No preview available – Certainly, this professor dardin history at Florida State University presents some thinly veiled opinions, but the success of the book is founded on its encyclopedic and accessible presentation of this most evasive idea.


Want to Read saving…. I had expected more on the latter, but it mainly came in an epilogue to an engaging, well-written dive into what the ages have thought about happiness. Learn to not desire anything and then you will be happy -Dark Dafrin For the ancient Greeks, happiness meant virtue. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

Or surely get rid of that exaggerated, too absolute concept of happiness that we have been cherishing since the Enlightenment and Romantics in the West. A History looks at these questions in more detail from a historical hstory. That is a modern article of faith.

The shift if from happiness as a product of fate and gods, to happiness for the elite, and finally a democratized from of happiness in Stoic thought. My library Help Advanced Book Search. For the various schools of thought in this area from philosophers to religious leaders to scientists, this book covers all of this ground although I found it both too long and not enough of a deep dive. The journey starts with the Greek world where happiness was seen as grace primarily abundance of material possessions from the Gods that could easily be taken away.

This darrib is from my retreat talk and I am reworking the ideas I had there. I think this is simply because it’s such a mcmahoon topic to tackle. A Historyin Happinees New York: Books by Darrin M. Today we think of happiness as a right and a skill that can be developed.

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