Author Topic: "The Conquest of Happiness" by Bertrand Russell  (Read 616 times)

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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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"The Conquest of Happiness" by Bertrand Russell
« on: July 17, 2018, 05:15:50 PM »
Has anyone here read The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell, from 1930? If so, what did you think of it? Would you consider it worth reading? From what I understand, it is basically a book about how to have a happy mind, written from a rationalist or skeptic perspective.
"I appear as a skeptic, who believes that doubt is the great engine, the great fuel, of all inquiry, all discovery, and all innovation" - Christopher Hitchens

Offline BAWRFRS

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Re: "The Conquest of Happiness" by Bertrand Russell
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2019, 07:46:45 AM »
Late reply ...

Yes, I have read it. It might even be public domain by now, but I've not kept up with the ever-changing laws in this area.

Although dated in some respects, there are some good insights to be had that are timeless. First thing I had to get over was the title - the conquest of happiness does not mean the defeat of happiness, but instead, obtaining it ... sort of like how romantic overtures that ended successfully used to be referred to as conquests.

In any case, it's not terribly long, definitely worth the read. The takeaway that stuck with me is to have a variety of interests - don't put all your emotional eggs in one basket, because if you do and something goes awry such that you can no longer enjoy that one avocation/hobby/pastime, you're sunk.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.  - Bertrand Russell

 

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