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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Throughout, McMahon strikes just the right balance of seriousness and irony, of sympathy and detachment, capturing that elusive combination of nobility, cupidity, and futility that has always attended the human quest for earthly contentment. Sustainable Happiness Our special issue asks, how can we have happy people and a happy planet?

It is a striking fact that in every Indo-European language, without exception, going all the way back to ancient Greek, the word for happiness is a cognate with the word for luck. Other cultures, as evidenced at Pompeii, viewed happiness as synonymous with physical pleasure. Feb 06, Tim rated it it was amazing. Other editions – View all Happiness: Starting from this, everyone belives he has the most legitimate claim to happiness and varrin.

Thus, although eighteenth-century minds did not – and could not – succeed in mastering the random occurrences of the universe, they could dqrrin and did – conceive of exerting much greater control over nature and human affairs. If you are looking for answers to the questions of how or where to find happiness this is not the book for you. Ha;piness to Read saving….


Happiness: A History – Darrin M. McMahon – Google Books

Sep 03, Roslyn rated it it was amazing. A really freaking interesting reminder that just about everything is contextual An interesting but very ethnocentric exploration of the evolution of the concept of happiness.

A History is a scintillating course in the history of ideas that invites us to consider paintings, poetry, even the plaster mask of Beethoven. As McMahon himself points out, this unsatisfactory way of always striving for the higher, the better, the richer and the deeper, belongs to the core of human existence in the West, and consequently happiness is at mcmahob an ephemeral, temporarily state of being.

Western people do not see any final goals happines that are worth seeking out, which can make life meaningful, and therefore Western man has to put up with a hedonism that will never satisfy him.

Happiness: A History by Darrin M. McMahon

Haybron Limited preview – I think this book is only for those with a great interest in the topic of happiness and how it’s been defined throughout history. McMahon investigates how the concept of “happiness” came to mean what it means today.

Happiness, literally, was what happened to us, and that was ultimately out of our hands. My library Help Advanced Book Search. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.


You will know it when you feel it yourself. Strictly speaking, this is the happiness of death.

Darrin M. McMahon

Buddhism at the very least has a lot to say on the attainment of happiness or the uselessness of the struggleas well as Liberation theology and modern cults he does have a section on the ‘s religious cults.

For the philosophically inclined, I’d recommend this book.

Nor should we assume that happiness can be had maybe a better word? This is a good place to look for beginnings to the search for answers rather than the answers themselves.

Happiness: A History

This is NOT a self-help book and I was happindss glad that McMahon is not looking to tie everything up with a bow and his own definition of what happiness is today. The idea of happiness shifted throughout history, along with its perceived relevance and McMahon shows the different philosophica McMahon investigates how the concept of “happiness” came to mean what it means today.

Selected pages Title Page. This perspective lies behind our belief that suffering is inherently wrong, and that all people, in all places, should have the opportunity, the right, to be happy. It is measured in lifetimes, not moments. Other editions – View all Happiness: Return to Book Page.