8 episodes

Poets, philosophers, and theologians have wrestled with the notion of “happiness” for thousands of years – to no common conclusion. More recently, scientists across the spectrum have also applied themselves to the task of interpretation. What do we know now, and can we agree? Historians, philosophers, psychologists, economists, and neuroscientists come together to present a picture of what this intangible state – one we all aspire to – is all about. To be forthright, these won’t be exercises in self-help. Rather, a hard, thoughtful, analytical, and sometimes fun look at an elusive, fascinating, complex topic.

What is Happiness? The Aspen Ideas Festival

    • Social Sciences
    • 3.7, 3 Ratings

Poets, philosophers, and theologians have wrestled with the notion of “happiness” for thousands of years – to no common conclusion. More recently, scientists across the spectrum have also applied themselves to the task of interpretation. What do we know now, and can we agree? Historians, philosophers, psychologists, economists, and neuroscientists come together to present a picture of what this intangible state – one we all aspire to – is all about. To be forthright, these won’t be exercises in self-help. Rather, a hard, thoughtful, analytical, and sometimes fun look at an elusive, fascinating, complex topic.

    • video
    Improving Happiness Through Personal Practice

    Improving Happiness Through Personal Practice

    Individual well-being can be systematically measured and systematically built.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    • video
    Psychology of Happiness

    Psychology of Happiness

    How do “experience” and “memory” shape well-being? Author Jonathan Haidt talks about three of the ten great truths from his book The Happiness Hypothesis. To be a great truth, it has to arise on multiple continents and multiple eras, but what we tend to find is that these truths occur to everybody who thinks about the human condition.
    Does happiness come from the outside or the inside? And what happens when the two conflict?
    Daniel Gilbert and Jonathan Haidt discuss

    • 53 min
    • video
    The Neuroscience of Happiness

    The Neuroscience of Happiness

    Is happiness a skill? Modern neuroscientific research and the wisdom of ancient contemplative traditions converge in suggesting that happiness is the product of skills that can be enhanced through training and such training exemplifies how transforming the mind can change the brain.
    Speakers: Kent Berridge, Richie Davidson, Daniel Gilbert

    • 1 hr 11 min
    • video
    Economics of Happiness

    Economics of Happiness

    Does money buy happiness? If you ask people does money buy happiness, they all get very high-minded and say, well, of course not and they begin to preach to you about love, meaning and other things.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    • video
    How to Recognize Happiness

    How to Recognize Happiness

    Happiness as an ongoing state of mind — rather than a fleeting pleasurable sensation — could be recognized by the predominance of positive affects, by an ongoing freedom from inner conflicts that express themselves in obviously tormenting ways, by a sense of inner calmness, and by attitudes that reflect some kind of benevolence toward others. Matthieu Ricard talks with Hanna Rosin

    • 42 min
    • video
    Martin Seligman on Flourishing

    Martin Seligman on Flourishing

    Martin Seligman on Flourishing, Public Policy, and the Army Book talk. While certainly a part of well-being, happiness alone doesn’t give life meaning. What is it that enables us to cultivate our talents, to build deep, lasting relationships with others, to feel pleasure, and to contribute meaningfully to the world? Featuring Martin E. P. Seligman 2011

    • 46 min

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