The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning (Paperback)

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9780063214200

From the author of Against Empathy comes a different kind of happiness book, one that shows us how suffering is an essential source of both pleasure and meaning in our lives

Why do we so often seek out physical pain and emotional turmoil? We go to movies that make us cry, or scream, or gag. We poke at sores, eat spicy foods, immerse ourselves in hot baths, run marathons. Some of us even seek out pain and humiliation in sexual role-play. Where do these seemingly perverse appetites come from?

Get The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning (Paperback) by Paul Bloom and other psychology books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.

From the author of Against Empathy comes a different kind of happiness book, one that shows us how suffering is an essential source of both pleasure and meaning in our lives

Why do we so often seek out physical pain and emotional turmoil? We go to movies that make us cry, or scream, or gag. We poke at sores, eat spicy foods, immerse ourselves in hot baths, run marathons. Some of us even seek out pain and humiliation in sexual role-play. Where do these seemingly perverse appetites come from?

Drawing on groundbreaking findings from psychology and brain science, The Sweet Spot shows how the right kind of suffering sets the stage for enhanced pleasure. Pain can distract us from our anxieties and help us transcend the self. Choosing to suffer can serve social goals; it can display how tough we are or, conversely, can function as a cry for help. Feelings of fear and sadness are part of the pleasure of immersing ourselves in play and fantasy and can provide certain moral satisfactions. And effort, struggle, and difficulty can, in the right contexts, lead to the joys of mastery and flow.

But suffering plays a deeper role as well. We are not natural hedonists—a good life involves more than pleasure. People seek lives of meaning and significance; we aspire to rich relationships and satisfying pursuits, and this requires some amount of struggle, anxiety, and loss. Brilliantly argued, witty, and humane, Paul Bloom shows how a life without chosen suffering would be empty—and worse than that, boring.  

More Information
ISBN 9780063214200
Length (cm) 14.0000
Width (cm) 2.0000
Height (cm) 21.0000
Publisher Ecco
Publication Date Nov 2, 2021
Pages (number) 304
Genre N/A
Author Paul Bloom
Signed No
Format Paperback
Editorial Reviews

“[The Sweet Spot] is lucid and elegantly written throughout so that there’s little suffering involved in reading it—in this, it’s reminiscent of Michael Sandel and Martha Nussbaum. A bracing, convincing argument that toil, torment, and tribulation can be good things.” -- Kirkus Reviews

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