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- xiii, 288 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
- "A Bradford book"."Flanagan draws on philosophy, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and psychology, as well as on transformative mindfulness and self-cultivation practices that come from such nontheistic spiritual traditions as Buddhism, Confucianism, Aristotelianism, and Stoicim. He gathers from these disciplines knowledge that will help us to understand the nature, the causes, and the constituents of well-being and to advance human flourishing. Eudaimonics can help us find out how to make a difference, how to contribute to the accumulation of good effects - how to live a meaningful life."--BOOK JACKET."Flanagan's answer is both naturalistic and enchanting. We all wish to live in meaningful way, to live a life that really matters, to flourish, to achieve eudaimonia - to be a "happy spirit." Flanagan calls his "empirical-normative" inquiry into the nature, causes, and conditions of human flourishing eudaimonics. Eudaimonics, systematic philosophical investigation that is continuous with science, is the naturalist's response to those who say that science has robbed the world of the meaning that fantastical, wishful stories once provided."Contents: Preface and acknowledgments -- Meaningful and enchanted lives : a threat from the human sciences -- Finding meaning in the natural world : the comparative consensus -- Science for monks : Buddhism and science -- Normative mind science : psychology, neuroscience, and the good life -- Neuroscience, happiness, and positive illusions -- Spirituality naturalized : a strong cat without claws.Includes bibliographical references and index.Summary: "If consciousness is "the hard problem" in mind science - explaining how the amazing private world of consciousness emerges from neuronal activity - then "the really hard problem," Owen Flanagan wrties in this book, is explaining how meaning is possible in the material world. How can we make sense of the magic and mystery of life naturalistically, without an appeal to the supernatural? How do we say truthful and enchanting things about being human if we accept the fact that we are finite material beings living in a material world, or, in Flanagan's words, short-lived pieces of organized muscle and tissue?"