100 Years of Happiness: Insights and Findings from the Experts

100 Years of Happiness: Insights and Findings from the Experts

by Nathan S. Carlin, Donald Eric Capps


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This book sums up 100 of years of research into the study of happiness—from 19th century scientific insights on the subject to the pop psychology perspectives of modern-day America.

We all want to be happy, but what does that mean, and how do we get there? These questions may be a popular topic of positive psychology books in recent years, but interest in the subject stretches back over a century. Distinguished authors Nathan Carlin and Donald Capps examine opinions, research studies, and insights about happiness from the 18th century through today.

100 Years of Happiness: Insights and Findings from the Experts is organized into three sections—one that explores insights from philosophers, another part that reviews study results from researchers, and a final section that casts some skepticism on the study of happiness. The authors review what the experts have found, and explore such questions as: Is happiness the goal of life? Is it possible to measure happiness? Is it possible to become happier? What is the difference between unhappiness and depression? If humankind could eliminate unhappiness from the human condition, should we? This fascinating text provides a basis for readers to develop their own conclusions, and to continue humankind's ongoing discourse on the subject.

• Concise summaries of classic debates on the meaning of happiness

• An examination of cultural and individual belief systems regarding happiness

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440803628
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/03/2012
Series: Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality Series
Pages: 210
Product dimensions: 14.50(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Nathan Carlin, PhD, is director of the Medical Humanities and Ethics Certificate Program at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, TX.

Donald Capps, PhD, is William Harte Felmeth Professor of pastoral theology (emeritus) and adjunct professor of pastoral theology at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ.

Table of Contents

Series Foreword J. Harold Ellens xi

Preface xiii

Introduction xv

Part I Some Insights about Happiness

Chapter 1 Cultivating Happiness 3

Chapter 2 The Desire for Happiness 13

Chapter 3 The Science of Happiness 23

Chapter 4 The Conquest of Happiness 39

Part II Some Findings about Happiness

Chapter 5 The Pursuit of Happiness 57

Chapter 6 Authentic Happiness 73

Chapter 7 Realistic Happiness 87

Chapter 8 Evolving Happiness 101

Chapter 9 Forecasting Happiness 115

Chapter 10 Becoming Happier 129

Part III Some Questions about Happiness

Chapter 11 The Artifice of Happiness 145

Chapter 12 Against Happiness 159

Chapter 13 Exploring Happiness 167

Chapter 14 Afterthoughts 179

Notes 189

References 195

Index 201

What People are Saying About This

Catherine M. Flaitz

"What a fascinating book! With a cerebral approach, this book analyzes the key components of happiness over time, and it is an enlightening read for leaders in the workplace who aspire to motivate individuals at their fundamental core for a greater, sustainable good."

Caroline Kiernan Lodato

"Carlin and Capps present a fascinating and delightful excursion into the great variety of thoughts on happiness throughout the past one hundred years. Easy to read but full of reflection, this book explores the gamut on happiness: from what happiness means and how we cultivate it to whether Americans are artificially happy. We are reminded that, in contrast to amassing wealth or being envious, meaningful relationships, work, helping our neighbor, and accepting ourselves go a long way towards happiness. And let's not forget about the importance of sorrow in the happy life."

Robert C. Dykstra

"Nathan Carlin and Donald Capps inflict some serious damage on the notion that attaining happiness is beyond human agency or reach. Encyclopedic in scope, engrossing in detail, and enriching in wisdom, 100 Years of Happiness makes you want to roll up your sleeves, get to work (and play), and be glad."

Jaco Hamman

"Historically acute, 100 Years of Happiness offers hope for all who seek a harmonious life and know it is no joke. Carlin and Capps combine wisdom, humility, and fearless irony as they invite their readers to author happiness for themselves. Zesty and visionary, this book whets one's appetite for happiness.

Customer Reviews