Happiness Studies Book Series

Human Happiness and the Pursuit of Maximization

Is More Always Better?

Editors: Brockmann, Hilke, Delhey, Jan (Eds.)

  • The first volume to use interdisciplinary findings from happiness research to explain the downsides of modern society 
  • Examines the maxim that is necessarily better from a historical perspective
  • Brings together leading happiness researchers from a broad range of backgrounds   ​
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eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-007-6609-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-6608-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-9959-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book tests the critical potential of happiness research to evaluate contemporary high-performance societies. These societies, defined as affluent capitalist societies, emphasize competition and success both  institutionally and culturally. Growing affluence improves life in many ways, for a large number of people. We lead longer, safer, and more comfortable lives than previous generations. But we also live faster, and are competition-toughened, like top athletes. As a result, we suspect limits and detect downsides of our high-speed lives. The ubiquitous maximization principle opens up a systematic gateway to the pleasures and pains of contemporary life. Using happiness as a reference point, this book explores the philosophical and empirical limits of the maximization rule. It considers the answer to questions such as: Precisely, why did the idea of (economic) maximization gain so much ground in our Western way of thinking? When, and in which life domains, does maximization work, when does it fail? When do qualities and when do quantities matter? Does maximization yield a different (un)happiness dividend in different species, cultures, and societies? ​  

About the authors

Hilke Brockmann is a Professor of Sociology at Jacobs University, Bremen and an experienced expert in population aging and well-being research. Her work deals with the individual and health related consequences of large-scale demographic, political and social changes. She has published in major international journals, is a member of the Editorial Board of Health Sociology Review, of several professional associations and an alumni of the Max Planck Society. She also counsels public health insurances, marketing boards, firms, and political parties.

Jan Delhey, Professor of Sociology at Jacobs University, Bremen, is an internationally renowned expert in comparative quality of life research. He has published on living conditions, subjective well-being, trust, and social cohesion in leading European and international journals (his next piece of work on trust will appear in the American Sociological Review). He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Happiness Studies and member of the board of directors of the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies. For the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions he has worked as an expert advisor for European-wide social reporting. Contributor to the World Book of Happiness; numerous radio and newspaper interviews.

Reviews

From the reviews:

“This is an important book presenting clear evidence within the fields of philosophy, social, and natural science about the myth of maximization as the source of happiness. … Human Happiness and the Pursuit of Maximization is an important contribution to the literature that encourages readers to look at maximization in its relation to happiness at the individual and social levels.” (Louis Hoffman and Monica Mansilla, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 59 (17), 2014)

Table of contents (14 chapters)

  • Happiness and Maximization: An Introduction

    Brockmann, Hilke (et al.)

    Pages 1-14

  • Is More Always Better? The American Experiment

    Whybrow, Peter C.

    Pages 15-26

  • More Nonsense and Less Happiness: The Uninteded Effects of Artificial Competitions

    Binswanger, Mathias

    Pages 27-40

  • Happiness by Maximization?

    Bayertz, Kurt

    Pages 41-54

  • Maximization and the Good

    Tiberius, Valerie

    Pages 55-67

Buy this book

eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-007-6609-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-6608-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-9959-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Human Happiness and the Pursuit of Maximization
Book Subtitle
Is More Always Better?
Editors
  • Hilke Brockmann
  • Jan Delhey
Series Title
Happiness Studies Book Series
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
eBook ISBN
978-94-007-6609-9
DOI
10.1007/978-94-007-6609-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-94-007-6608-2
Softcover ISBN
978-94-007-9959-2
Series ISSN
2213-7513
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 216
Topics