43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Analytic Philosophy Meets Pop Psychology,
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This review is from: The Conquest of Happiness (Paperback)
This is a wonderful book, despite the passage of considerable time. Written shortly after WWI, there are occasional references to people and things no longer on the modern radar scope. And, as philosophical writing goes, Russell is better than most in constructing intelligible sentences and paragraphs that don't require repeated reading to understand.
This book is about life. Russell uses his analytic empiricism to discuss typically pop-psychological issues: Boredom, Excitement, Envy, Sin, Persecution, Public Opinion, Zest, etc. But his approach, dated back in time, is refreshingly new and helpful in the present. Indeed, Russell shows himself redolent in wisdom, the true aim of philosophy, and tackles issues that are at the core of what constitutes happiness and its opposites.
Because Russell appeals to his empirical views analytically arrived, there is a sense of wonderment and awe at such simple solutions to difficult problems in modern life. These solutions aren't dressed in pop-ism, but in a perennial philosophy that takes wisdom, not pop-up tapes of life, seriously.
The Atlantic Monthly claimed this book to be a "primer of self-regeneration . . . a most excellent book." This praise is not unwarranted, and given that commonsense is the center of the whole enterprise, its wisdom will endure not only when it was written in the 1920s, but today, and tomorrow.
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Initial post: Apr 9, 2013 6:03:57 PM PDT
I endorsed this review as helpful but I feel compelled to speak up about something. You said "Russell uses his analytic empiricism to discuss typically pop-psychological issues: Boredom, Excitement, Envy, Sin, Persecution, Public Opinion, Zest, etc. " I would suggest that these issues are life issues and are not to be subsumed under (owned by) "pop psychology". And what massive issues these are.
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