On Desire: Why We Want What We Want

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Oxford University Press, 2005 M11 1 - 336 páginas
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A married person falls deeply in love with someone else. A man of average income feels he cannot be truly happy unless he owns an expensive luxury car. A dieter has an irresistible craving for ice cream. Desires often come to us unbidden and unwanted, and they can have a dramatic impact, sometimes changing the course of our lives. In On Desire, William B. Irvine takes us on a wide-ranging tour of our impulses, wants, and needs, showing us where these feelings come from and how we can try to rein them in. Spicing his account with engaging observations by writers like Seneca, Tolstoy, and Freud, Irvine considers the teachings of Buddhists, Hindus, the Amish, Shakers, and Catholic saints, as well as those of ancient Greek and Roman and modern European philosophers. Irvine also looks at what modern science can tell us about desire--such as what happens in the brain when we desire something and how animals evolved particular desires--and he advances a new theory about how desire itself evolved. Irvine also suggests that at the same time that we gained the ability to desire, we were "programmed" to find some things more desirable than others. Irvine concludes that the best way to attain lasting happiness is not to change the world around us or our place in it, but to change ourselves. If we can convince ourselves to want what we already have, we can dramatically enhance our happiness. Brimming with wisdom and practical advice, On Desire offers a thoughtful approach to controlling unwanted passions and attaining a more meaningful life.
 

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LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - KidSisyphus - LibraryThing

A bit pedestrian if you come to the topic with any background. Fun diagrams like "The Chain of Desire" and "The Taxonomy of Desire" are a lame attempt at street cred. Presents a naive understanding of ... Leer comentario completo

On desire: why we want what we want

Crítica de los usuarios  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Irvine (philosophy, Wright State Univ.) believes that while some desires develop from our rational concerns, others simply appear unbidden - and those are by no means restricted to our natural ... Leer comentario completo

Contenido

Introduction
1
THE SECRET LIFE OF DESIRE
9
THE SCIENCE OF DESIRE
53
DEALING WITH OUR DESIRES
173
Notes
298
Works Cited
309
Index
316
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Acerca del autor (2005)

William B. Irvine is Professor of Philosophy at Wright State University, in Dayton, Ohio.

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