By Matthieu Ricard
The writer of the overseas bestseller Happiness makes a passionate case for altruism—and why we want it now greater than ever.
In Happiness, Matthieu Ricard established that actual happiness isn't really tied to fleeting moments or sensations, yet is a permanent country of soul rooted in mindfulness and compassion for others. Now he turns his lens from the private to the worldwide, with a rousing argument that altruism—genuine obstacle for the health of others—could be the saving grace of the twenty first century. it truly is, he believes, the important thread that could solution the most demanding situations of our time: the financial system within the brief time period, lifestyles delight within the mid-term, and atmosphere within the long-term. Ricard's message has been taken up through significant economists and thinkers, together with Dennis Snower, Amartya Sen, Joseph Stiglitz, and George Soros.
Matthieu Ricard makes a strong and passionate case for cultivating altruistic love and compassion because the top capacity for concurrently benefitting ourselves and our society. It's a clean outlook on an ardent struggle—and person who simply may possibly make the area a greater position.
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Extra resources for Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World
So I turn to the second half of the problem: how to avoid Lax Naturalism without falling back into Scientism. And again there is a ready answer. The Tough-Minded Tautological Naturalism that presumably we all want is to be arrived at by pushing the Naturalistic Principle as far as it will go within its proper sphere, which is the sphere of material transformations. But down this road there is a branching of ways, at which Peter Winch and I part company. In the passage from 'Ceasing to exist' which I quoted earlier, the Naturalistic Principle was functioning as a criterion both of the nature and existence of things.
There is an attitude towards the Naturalistic Principle which could be called Tautological Naturalism - the fundamentally sensible form of Naturalism. All one has to do in order to make one's Naturalism tautological is to couple the Naturalistic 33 R. F. HOLlAND Principle with the idea that there are forms of understanding outside the natural sciences. It would be sheer rodomontade for a Monistic Naturalist of the kind described by Danto to claim his position were tautological on the ground that all other knowledge is reducible to, or representable as a structure of, for example, the knowledge physicists may one day come to have of fundamental particles: Our tenth-century Cornishman, on the other hand, qualifies for election to the club of Fundamentally Sensible Naturalists.
I conclude that it is reasonable to accept the claim that, by virtue of these constraints, we can and do properly understand what we imagine to be radically different from what we have so far experienced and that such understanding is dependent upon and influenced by intelligible experience, but not wholly determined by it nor answerable to it. III This is such a tame conclusion that it is a matter for wonder that it should be doubted, but philosophers may do so and with reason. There are at least five arguments, all variations on a theme, that must be confronted.