18 January 2008 at 9:13 pm 3 comments

While visiting the MIT Press bookstore the other day, I picked up the “MIT Press 2008 Philosophy” catalog, and on the back is featured a book called The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material World by Owen Flanagan, which tries to address the question of “How can we make sense of the magic and mystery of life naturalistically, without an appeal to the supernatural….if we accept the fact that we are finite material beings living in a material world, or, in Flanagan’s description, short-lived pieces of organized cells and tissue?”

His answer, according to this catalogue description, is in trying to achieve a life of eudaimonia — to be a “happy spirit.” Flanagan names his new area of study “Eudaimonics”: the inquiry into the nature, causes, and conditions of human flourishing. He draws on philosophy, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and psychology as well as non-theistic spiritual traditions (Buddhism, Confucianism, Stoicism, Aristotelianism) in trying to discover how we can enhance human flourishing and how to live a meaningful life.

This is very much in line with my study of energonomics and echoes previous posts on “positive psychology” and “psychoenergonomics.” Energonomics attempts to have us focus on managing energy flows that come into our bodies (from the food sources that we eat). One goal is to discover how we can manage energy flows in our brains to maximize human flourishing, in the words of Flanagan. This looks like a book to put on my long list of books to read.


Entry filed under: academia, books, energonomics, neuroscience, philosophy, psychoenergonomics, science, words.

Embodied Cognition Energy Studies

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. John  |  6 March 2008 at 2:19 am

    Reference #3 should have been

    It is titled The Heart Has a Question

  • 2. Psychoenergonomics « Scholaris Erratus  |  12 March 2008 at 12:49 am

    […] optimistic, passionate, joyful and courageous. I recently posted on this emergent field of “Eudaimonics.” There is the act of what Loyola University psychologist Fred Bryant calls in his new book […]

  • 3. xrkcx  |  9 July 2009 at 5:17 pm

    wat???????????????????????????? IMN SO LOST BY ALL OF THIS LANGUAGE THAT YOUR SPEAKING ABOUT ALKL OF THIS! HELP ME! go to its a pretty awesome site with lil words that all people can understand!


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