Born to be Good
The Science of a Meaningful Life
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|Format:||Paperback, 352 pages|
|Other Information: ||60 photographs|
|Published In: ||United States, 09 February 2010|
"Born to Be Good" demonstrates that humans are not hardwired to lead lives that are nasty, brutish and short - we are in fact born to be good. Dacher Keltner investigates an old mystery of human evolution: why we have evolved positive emotions like gratitude, amusement, awe and compassion that promote ethical action and are the fabric of cooperative societies. By combining stories of scientific discovery, personal narrative and Eastern philosophy, Keltner illustrates his discussions with more than fifty snapshots of human emotions. "Born to Be Good" is a profound study of how emotion is the key to living the good life and how the path to happiness goes through human emotions that connect people to one another.
About the Author
Dacher Keltner is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, director of the Greater Good Science Center and co-editor of Greater Good magazine. His research focuses on pro-social emotions, power and moral reasoning.
Keltner (psychology, Univ. of California, Berkeley; director, Greater Good Science Ctr.) effectively brings together Charles Darwin, William James, John Bowlby, and contemporary students of emotion Paul Ekman and Jonathan Haidt to posit a "new science of positive emotion." He bases this science on the Confucian notion of jen, which describes the satisfaction of bringing out the goodness in oneself and others. Keltner argues that emotions like affection, trust, love, compassion, and awe are hardwired in humans across cultures. Vulnerability promotes social cooperation when our frontal lobes are functioning normally-not the case with psychopaths. With sophisticated and entertaining research, Keltner shows that smiling and laughter have different origins and functions, that teasing and politeness are related, that getting soldiers to kill requires damaging the structures of goodness, and that altruism, awe, and religious feeling are demonstrable components of evolved human brains. A landmark book in the science of emotion and its implications for ethics and human universals, this is essential for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/08.]-E. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
"...an intriguing read..." The Sunday Business Post "A bright, entertaining book... [that] covers broad, interesting territory." The New York Times "...a powerful case that embarrassment is evolution's answer to the 'committment problem': it is in everyone's interest to collaborate for long-term gain..." The Guardian
|Publisher: ||WW Norton & Co|
|Dimensions: ||21.0 x 13.0 x 2.0 centimeters (0.29 kg)|