On Desire: Why We Want What We Want

Oup Usa (2007)
Abstract
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. Irvine spices his account with engaging observations by both ancient and modern writers, philosophers, and religious leaders. Irvine also looks at what modern science can tell us about desire--such as what happens in the brain when we desire something--and advances a new theory about how desire evolved. 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
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