Stand Firm

Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze

Author: Svend Brinkmann

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1509514295

Category: Social Science

Page: 152

View: 8053

The pace of modern life is accelerating. To keep up, we must keep on moving and adapting – constantly striving for greater happiness and success. Or so we are told. But the demands of life in the fast lane come at a price: stress, fatigue and depression are at an all-time high, while our social interactions have become increasingly self-serving and opportunistic. How can we resist today's obsession with introspection and self-improvement? In this witty and bestselling book, Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann argues that we must not be afraid to reject the self-help mantra and 'stand firm'. The secret to a happier life lies not in finding your inner self but in coming to terms with yourself in order to coexist peacefully with others. By encouraging us to stand firm and get a foothold in life, this vibrant anti-self-help guide offers a compelling alternative to life coaching, positive thinking and the need always to say 'yes!'

Stand Firm

Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze

Author: Svend Brinkman

Publisher: Polity

ISBN: 9781509514250

Category: Social Science

Page: 152

View: 971

The pace of modern life is accelerating. To keep up, we must keep on moving and adapting - constantly striving for greater happiness and success. Or so we are told. But the demands of life in the fast lane come at a price: stress, fatigue and depression are at an all-time high while our social interactions have become increasingly self-serving and opportunistic. How can we resist today?s obsession with introspection and self-improvement? In this witty and bestselling book, Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann argues that we must not be afraid to reject the self-help mantra and ?stand firm?. The secret to a happier life lies not in finding your inner-self but in coming to terms with yourself in order to co-exist peacefully with others. By encouraging us to stand firm and get a foothold in life, this insightful anti-self-help guide offers a sobering and realistic alternative to life-coaching, positive thinking and the need always to say ?yes!?

Stand Firm

Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze

Author: Svend Brinkmann

Publisher: Polity

ISBN: 9781509514267

Category: Social Science

Page: 152

View: 8982

The pace of modern life is accelerating. To keep up, we must keep on moving and adapting – constantly striving for greater happiness and success. Or so we are told. But the demands of life in the fast lane come at a price: stress, fatigue and depression are at an all-time high, while our social interactions have become increasingly self-serving and opportunistic. How can we resist today's obsession with introspection and self-improvement? In this witty and bestselling book, Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann argues that we must not be afraid to reject the self-help mantra and 'stand firm'. The secret to a happier life lies not in finding your inner self but in coming to terms with yourself in order to coexist peacefully with others. By encouraging us to stand firm and get a foothold in life, this vibrant anti-self-help guide offers a compelling alternative to life coaching, positive thinking and the need always to say 'yes!'

Standpoints

10 Old Ideas In a New World

Author: Svend Brinkmann

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1509523766

Category: Social Science

Page: 160

View: 5908

Self-help gurus, life coaches and business consultants love to tell us that we must strive for constant self-improvement to realize our full potential and become truly happy. But it doesn't seem to work - for many of us, life still seems hollow and meaningless. So focused are we on personal development and material possessions that we've overlooked the things that make life truly fulfilling and worthwhile. So how do we figure out what's really worth striving for? In this compelling follow-up to his bestselling book Stand Firm, Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann shows us that the important things in life are those with intrinsic value, like goodness, freedom, truth and love. We should stop asking 'what's in it for me?', and turn our attention outwards to our friends, families and communities. By putting others first and embracing these unconditional principles, or standpoints, he argues, we can find a more meaningful and sustainable way of living.

Selfie

How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing to Us

Author: Will Storr

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781468316957

Category: History

Page: 416

View: 5463

We are living in an age of heightened individualism. Success is a personal responsibility. Our culture tells us that to succeed is to be slim, rich, happy, extroverted, popular--flawless. We have become self-obsessed. And our expectation of perfection comes at a cost. Millions are suffering under the torture of this impossible fantasy. The pressure to conform to this ideal has changed who we are. It was not always like this. To explain how we got here, award-winning journalist Will Storr leads us on a "terrific tour through the history of self-obsession" (NPR, On Point) that explores the origins of this notion of the perfect self that torments so many of us: Where does this ideal come from? Why is it so powerful? Is there any way to break its spell? Full of thrilling and unexpected connections among history, psychology, economics, neuroscience, and more, Selfie is an unforgettable book that makes sense of who we have become. Ranging from Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of 1980s California, the rise of the "selfie" generation, and the era of hyper-individualism in which we live now, Selfie tells the epic tale of the person we all know so intimately--because it's us.

How to Stop Living and Start Worrying

Conversations with Carl Cederström

Author: Simon Critchley,Carl Cederström

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745659594

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 3902

The question of how to lead a happy and meaningful life has been at the heart of philosophical debate since time immemorial. Today, however, these questions seem to be addressed not by philosophers but self-help gurus, who frantically champion the individual's quest for self-expression and self-realization; the desire to become authentic. Against these new age sophistries, How to Stop Living and Start Worrying tackles the question of 'how to live' by forcing us to explore our troubling relationship with death. For Critchley, philosophy begins with the question of finitude and with his understanding of a key classical theme - that to philosophize is to learn how to die. Learning how to accept both our own and others' mortality as a part of life also raises the question of how to love. Critchley argues that the act of love requires us to give up something of ourselves, to lose control so as to be open to the demands of love. We will never be equal to this demand and so we are brought face to face with our own limitations - one form of which is what Critchley calls our 'originary inauthenticity'. By scrutinizing the very nature of humour, Critchley explores what we need to laugh at ourselves and presents the need to confront the inescapable ridiculousness of life. Reflecting on the work of over 20 years, this book provides a unique, witty and erudite introduction to the thought of Simon Critchley. It includes a revealing biographical conversation with Critchley and a fascinating debate with the critically acclaimed novelist Tom McCarthy about the nature of authenticity. Taken together the conversations give an intimate portrait of one of the most lucid, provocative and engaging philosophers writing today.

Positive Psychology

Established and Emerging Issues

Author: Dana S. Dunn

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351603736

Category: Psychology

Page: 352

View: 6549

This volume is a comprehensive review of theoretical and empirical contributions to positive psychology. It provides a scientific understanding of how human strengths help people psychologically and physically, showing how stressful circumstances do not inexorably lead to negative prognoses. It examines how individuals confront challenges, appreciate others, and regard daily experiences as meaningful. Many of the chapters also challenge the negative, disease-model approach that dominates much of the research concerning health and well-being. Chapters also address applications and future directions for the field. The broad scope makes it a key resource for undergraduates, graduates, researchers, and practitioners in social, clinical, and positive psychology.

DESPERATELY SEEKING SELF-IMPRO

Author: Carl Cederstrom,Andre Spicer

Publisher: Or Books

ISBN: 9781944869397

Category: Humor

Page: 320

View: 1833

A highly-entertaining account of two young professors attempt to improve themselves through the techniques of the burgeoning self-optimization movement, including drugs, surgical implants, the administering of electric shocks and stripping naked in public.

The Wellness Doctrines

For Law Students & Young Lawyers

Author: Jerome Doraisamy

Publisher: Jerome Doraisamy

ISBN: 1921134968

Category: Self-Help

Page: 272

View: 8943

At least one in three legal professionals suffers from depression. A litigious culture, extreme hours and relentless pressure – both internal and external – can all take their toll. Young lawyer Jerome Doraisamy learnt the hard way how pushing yourself to the physical and emotional limit can wreak havoc on your mental health and wellbeing. Over an 18-month period starting from late 2011, including one period of hospitalisation, he suffered from severe clinical depression. His first book, The Wellness Doctrines, addresses the crisis in the profession head-on, offering practical tools and guidance for young legal professionals via insightful case studies from academics, managing partners, senior solicitors, graduates and students. Showcasing a “by lawyers, for lawyers” approach, this book provides the inspiration a young legal professional needs to take charge of his or her health and wellbeing. Praise for The Wellness Doctrines “It carries the very important ‘you are not alone’ message … there will always be someone who has travelled the same journey and understands your predicament completely.” – Justice Shane Marshall “An insightful and practical guide addressing a vital issue for our time.” – The Hon. Keith Mason, AO QC “A must-have tool for every law student and young lawyer.” – Australian Law Students’ Association “Honest and empowering.” – Kathryn Crossley (Founder, Survive Law) 10% of proceeds from the sales of The Wellness Doctrines will be donated to the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation. The Foundation’s objective is to decrease work related psychological ill-health in the legal community and to promote workplace psychological health and safety. Legal organisations across Australia can become signatories to the Foundation’s Best Practice Guidelines, which assist members of the profession to understand the initiatives and methods of management that assist in the creation and maintenance of psychologically healthy and supportive workplaces. Go to www.tjmf.org.au to find out more about the work of the Foundation.

The Wellness Syndrome

Author: Carl Cederstr?m,Andre Spicer

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745688713

Category: Philosophy

Page: 200

View: 6361

Not exercising as much as you should? Counting your calories in your sleep? Feeling ashamed for not being happier? You may be a victim of the wellness syndrome. In this ground-breaking new book, Carl Cederström and André Spicer argue that the ever-present pressure to maximize our wellness has started to work against us, making us feel worse and provoking us to withdraw into ourselves. The Wellness Syndrome follows health freaks who go to extremes to find the perfect diet, corporate athletes who start the day with a dance party, and the self-trackers who monitor everything, including their own toilet habits. This is a world where feeling good has become indistinguishable from being good. Visions of social change have been reduced to dreams of individual transformation, political debate has been replaced by insipid moralising, and scientific evidence has been traded for new-age delusions. A lively and humorous diagnosis of the cult of wellness, this book is an indispensable guide for everyone suspicious of our relentless quest to be happier and healthier.

Slow Philosophy

Reading against the Institution

Author: Michelle Boulous Walker

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1474279937

Category: Philosophy

Page: 336

View: 7987

In an age of internet scrolling and skimming, where concentration and attention are fast becoming endangered skills, it is timely to think about the act of reading and the many forms that it can take. Slow Philosophy: Reading Against the Institution makes the case for thinking about reading in philosophical terms. Boulous Walker argues that philosophy involves the patient work of thought; in this it resembles the work of art, which invites and implores us to take our time and to engage with the world. At its best, philosophy teaches us to read slowly; in fact, philosophy is the art of reading slowly Â? and this inevitably clashes with many of our current institutional practices and demands. Slow reading shares something in common with contemporary social movements, such as that devoted to slow food; it offers us ways to engage the complexity of the world. With the help of writers as diverse as Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Woolf, Adorno, Levinas, Critchley, Beauvoir, Le DÂ?uff, Irigaray, Cixous, Weil, and others, Boulous Walker offers a foundational text in the emerging field of slow philosophy, one that explores the importance of unhurried time in establishing our institutional encounters with complex and demanding works.

The Antidote

Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking

Author: Oliver Burkeman

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 1429947608

Category: Self-Help

Page: 256

View: 4641

Self-help books don't seem to work. Few of the many advantages of modern life seem capable of lifting our collective mood. Wealth—even if you can get it—doesn't necessarily lead to happiness. Romance, family life, and work often bring as much stress as joy. We can't even agree on what "happiness" means. So are we engaged in a futile pursuit? Or are we just going about it the wrong way? Looking both east and west, in bulletins from the past and from far afield, Oliver Burkeman introduces us to an unusual group of people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. Whether experimental psychologists, terrorism experts, Buddhists, hardheaded business consultants, Greek philosophers, or modern-day gurus, they argue that in our personal lives, and in society at large, it's our constant effort to be happy that is making us miserable. And that there is an alternative path to happiness and success that involves embracing failure, pessimism, insecurity, and uncertainty—the very things we spend our lives trying to avoid. Thought-provoking, counterintuitive, and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is the intelligent person's guide to understanding the much-misunderstood idea of happiness.

The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge

Author: Abraham Flexner

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400884624

Category: Science

Page: 104

View: 1695

A forty-year tightening of funding for scientific research has meant that resources are increasingly directed toward applied or practical outcomes, with the intent of creating products of immediate value. In such a scenario, it makes sense to focus on the most identifiable and urgent problems, right? Actually, it doesn't. In his classic essay "The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge," Abraham Flexner, the founding director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the man who helped bring Albert Einstein to the United States, describes a great paradox of scientific research. The search for answers to deep questions, motivated solely by curiosity and without concern for applications, often leads not only to the greatest scientific discoveries but also to the most revolutionary technological breakthroughs. In short, no quantum mechanics, no computer chips. This brief book includes Flexner's timeless 1939 essay alongside a new companion essay by Robbert Dijkgraaf, the Institute's current director, in which he shows that Flexner's defense of the value of "the unobstructed pursuit of useless knowledge" may be even more relevant today than it was in the early twentieth century. Dijkgraaf describes how basic research has led to major transformations in the past century and explains why it is an essential precondition of innovation and the first step in social and cultural change. He makes the case that society can achieve deeper understanding and practical progress today and tomorrow only by truly valuing and substantially funding the curiosity-driven "pursuit of useless knowledge" in both the sciences and the humanities.

John Dewey

Science for a Changing World

Author: Svend Brinkmann

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

ISBN: 1412852730

Category: Psychology

Page: 206

View: 5720

John Dewey was an American psychologist, philosopher, educator, social critic, and political activist. John Dewey: Science for a Changing World addresses Dewey's contemporary relevance; his life and intellectual trajectory; his basic philosophical ideas, with an emphasis on his philosophy of nature; and his educational theory, which has often been misunderstood. In addition, Dewey's pragmatism and pragmatist ethics are discussed, as are some of the criticisms that can be directed at them. Throughout the book, Dewey's ideas are related to the general history of ideas, but there is also a constant focus on how Dewey may assist us in solving some of the problems that face us in a so-called postmodern era. This book is the first to offer an interpretation of John Dewey's works with particular emphasis on his contribution to psychology. John Dewey distinguished himself by combining a culturalist approach to human life with a naturalistic one. He was an avowed naturalist and follower of Darwin, and Brinkmann shows how his non-reductionist, naturalist psychology can serve as a much-needed correction to contemporary forms of "evolutionary psychology." Dewey's psychology, however, is not an isolated element in his thinking as a whole, so the author also provides an introduction to the philosophical, ethical, and educational ideas that go hand-in-hand with his psychology. In the past couple of decades, there has been a renaissance of pragmatist ideas in philosophy, political theory, and education. Scholars are returning to the writings of William James, Charles Peirce, George Herbert Mead, and John Dewey. This book continues the fine tradition of Transaction's History and Theory of Psychology series.

The Willpower Instinct

How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It

Author: Kelly McGonigal

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101553731

Category: Psychology

Page: 272

View: 6884

Based on Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal's wildly popular course "The Science of Willpower," The Willpower Instinct is the first book to explain the new science of self-control and how it can be harnessed to improve our health, happiness, and productivity. Informed by the latest research and combining cutting-edge insights from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine, The Willpower Instinct explains exactly what willpower is, how it works, and why it matters. For example, readers will learn: Willpower is a mind-body response, not a virtue. It is a biological function that can be improved through mindfulness, exercise, nutrition, and sleep. Willpower is not an unlimited resource. Too much self-control can actually be bad for your health. Temptation and stress hijack the brain's systems of self-control, but the brain can be trained for greater willpower Guilt and shame over your setbacks lead to giving in again, but self-forgiveness and self-compassion boost self-control. Giving up control is sometimes the only way to gain self-control. Willpower failures are contagious—you can catch the desire to overspend or overeat from your friends­­—but you can also catch self-control from the right role models. In the groundbreaking tradition of Getting Things Done, The Willpower Instinct combines life-changing prescriptive advice and complementary exercises to help readers with goals ranging from losing weight to more patient parenting, less procrastination, better health, and greater productivity at work.

Awkward

The Science of Why We're Socially Awkward and Why That's Awesome

Author: Ty Tashiro

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062429175

Category: Psychology

Page: 288

View: 5131

In the vein of Quiet and The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth comes this illuminating look at what it means to be awkward—and how the same traits that make us socially anxious and cause embarrassing faux pas also provide the seeds for extraordinary success. As humans, we all need to belong. While modern social life can make even the best of us feel gawky, for roughly one in five of us, navigating its challenges is consistently overwhelming—an ongoing maze without an exit. Often unable to grasp social cues or master the skills and grace necessary for smooth interaction, we feel out of sync with those around us. Though individuals may recognize their awkward disposition, they rarely understand why they are like this—which makes it hard for them to know how to adjust their behavior. Psychologist and interpersonal relationship expert Ty Tashiro knows what it’s like to be awkward. Growing up, he could do math in his head and memorize the earned run averages of every National League starting pitcher. But he couldn’t pour liquids without spilling and habitually forgot to bring his glove to Little League games. In Awkward, he unpacks decades of research into human intelligence, neuroscience, personality, and sociology to help us better understand this widely shared trait. He explores its nature vs. nurture origins, considers how the awkward view the world, and delivers a welcome counterintuitive message: the same characteristics that make people socially clumsy can be harnessed to produce remarkable achievements. Interweaving the latest research with personal tales and real world examples, Awkward offers reassurance and provides valuable insights into how we can embrace our personal quirks and unique talents to harness our awesome potential—and more comfortably navigate our complex world.

A Philosophy of Pessimism

Author: Stuart Sim

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 178023550X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 160

View: 2269

There are many reasons to despair over the state of the world today: climate change, war, terrorism, social injustice, and an utter failure by our political systems to fix them. Yet there will always be those frustrating optimists who counter such an outlook by citing developments such as modern medicine, democracy, and the global internet as signs that things are, and always have been, on the up and up. This book locks those people in a separate room, shattering their rose-colored glasses to show the tremendous value in keeping the dark side of human affairs at the forefront of our consciousness. Stuart Sim starts with the proposition that pessimists simply have a more realistic world view. Tracing how pessimism has developed over time and exploring its multifaceted nature, he shows that many thinkers throughout history—including philosophers, theologians, authors, artists, and even scientists—have been pessimists at heart, challenging us to face up to the desperations that define human existence. Spanning cultures and moving across eras, he assembles a grand discourse of pessimism. Ultimately he offers the provocative argument that pessimism should be cultivated and vigorously defended as one of our most useful and ever-relevant dispositions.

Roald Dahl's Marvellous Medicine

Author: Tom Solomon

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 1781388679

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 256

View: 9846

Most people know Roald Dahl as a famous writer of children's books and adult short stories, but few are aware of his fascination with medicine. Right from his earliest days to the end of his life, Dahl was intrigued by what doctors do, and why they do it. During his lifetime, he and his family suffered some terrible medical tragedies: Dahl nearly died when his fighter plane went down in World War II; his son had severe brain injury in an accident; and his daughter died of measles infection of the brain. But he also had some medical triumphs: he dragged himself back to health after the plane crash, despite a skull fracture, back injuries, and blindness; he was responsible for inventing a medical device (the Wade-Dahl-Till valve) to treat his son's hydrocephalus (water on the brain), and he taught his first wife Patricia to talk again after a devastating stroke. His medical interactions clearly influenced some of his writing - for example the explosive potions in George's Marvellous Medicine. And sometimes his writing impacted on events in his life - for example the research on neuroanatomy he did for his short story William and Mary later helped him design the valve for treating hydrocephalus. In this unique book, Professor Tom Solomon, who looked after Dahl towards the end of his life, examines Dahl's fascination with medicine. Taking examples from Dahl's life, and illustrated with excerpts from his writing, the book uses Dahl's medical interactions as a starting point to explore some extraordinary areas of medical science. Solomon is an award-winning science communicator, and he effortlessly explains the medical concepts underpinning the stories, in language that everyone can understand. The book is also peppered with anecdotes from Dahl''s late night hospital discussions with Solomon, which give new insights into this remarkable man's thinking as his life came to an end.

Freedom

A Novel

Author: Jonathan Franzen

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 9781429979436

Category: Fiction

Page: 576

View: 4310

Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul—the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter—environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man—she was doing her small part to build a better world. But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz—outré rocker and Walter's college best friend and rival—still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to Patty? Why has the bright star of Barrier Street become "a very different kind of neighbor," an implacable Fury coming unhinged before the street's attentive eyes? In his first novel since The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of Freedom's characters as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.

Caliban and the Witch

Author: Silvia Federici

Publisher: Autonomedia

ISBN: 1570270597

Category: History

Page: 285

View: 9240

Literary Nonfiction. CALIBAN AND THE WITCH is a history of the body in the transition to capitalism. Moving from the peasant revolts of the late Middle Ages to the witch-hunts and the rise of mechanical philosophy, Federici investigates the capitalist rationalization of social reproduction. She shows how the battle against the rebel body and the conflict between body and mind are essential conditions for the development of labor power and self-ownership, two central principles of modern social organization."It is both a passionate work of memory recovered and a hammer of humanity's agenda." Peter Linebaugh, author of The London Hanged"