06 Mar Are we born to be good?
Thomas Hobbes famously described life as ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” In contrast, Dacher Keltner describes life as the ‘survival of the kindest.” His new book, Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, presents the evidence that humans have evolved positive emotions to build meaning and relationships and have moved ever toward goodness.In this wonderfully engaging work, Keltner takes the reader on time travel across seemingly wide dimensions of human experience and culture.
His interdisciplinary approach gives nods to thinkers from Charles Darwin to Paul Ekman to Martin Seligman to Jonathan Haidt. Through studies of animal behavior, anthropology and psychology, Keltner brings a broader and deeper understanding that positive emotions, pro-social behavior and embarrassment (more on this later) are surely encoded in our DNA, and that these adaptations over millennia have made possible our great and continuing success as a species, Bernie Madoff to the contrary.
To read more of this book review from Positive Psychology News Daily, which is clearly very relevant to all those interested in happiness – click here