In Pursuit of Happiness by Mark Kingwell
Better Living from Plato to Prozac

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Synopsis

We all think that we know what happiness is, or at least that we would like more of it. But the pursuit of this rather abstract commodity may be at once the simplest and the most vexing of human endeavors. In Pursuit of Happiness: Better Living from Plato to Prozac is an exploration of the idea of happiness, the ways in which that idea has changed over the course of history, and how it influences not only individual lives, but also economic and political thinking, psychological investigation, medical practice -- in fact all facets of human life.  

Featuring Mark Kingwell's unique combination of cultural reportage, historical investigation, and philosophical reflection, In Pursuit of Happiness excavates layers of manipulation to seek out a happiness uncontaminated by technology, advertising, and popular culture. From a meditation on the relevance of Platonic ideas about happiness to a running commentary on the author's week at a "happy camp" in Massachusetts, this is an utterly absorbing and often hilarious exploration of just what it is that makes life worth living.
 

About Mark Kingwell

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MARK KINGWELL writes for Harper's magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Utne Reader, Shift, and several other publications. An associate professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, he is the author of three other books, including Dreams of Millennium. He lives in Toronto.
 
Published July 5, 2000 by Crown. 416 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Kingwell’s high road involves the virtue theory of happiness, pleasures more anticipated and remembered, our Founding Fathers’ property-based pursuit of happiness, and the words of Voltaire (“we must cultivate our garden”).

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