This celebrated New York Times bestseller -- now poised to reach an even wider audience in paperback -- is a book that is changing the way Americans think about selling products and disseminating ideas.
An exciting--and encouraging--exploration of creativity from the author of When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic "right-brain" thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn't. Drawing on research from around the world, Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others) outlines the six fundamentally human abilities that are absolute essentials for professional success and personal fulfillment--and reveals how to master them. A Whole New Mind takes readers to a daring new place, and a provocative and necessary new way of thinking about a future that's already here.
Americans are addicted to happiness. When we're not popping pills, we leaf through scientific studies that take for granted our quest for happiness, or read self-help books by everyone from armchair philosophers and clinical psychologists to the Dalai Lama on how to achieve a trouble-free life: "Stumbling ""on Happiness"; "Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive ""Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment"; "The ""Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living. "The titles themselves draw a stark portrait of the war on melancholy. More than any other generation, Americans of today believe in the transformative power of positive thinking. But who says we're "supposed "to be happy? Where does it say that in the Bible, or in the Constitution? In "Against Happiness," the scholar Eric G. Wilson argues that melancholia is necessary to any thriving culture, that it is the muse of great literature, painting, music, and innovation--and that it is the force underlying original insights. Francisco Goya, Emily Dickinson, Marcel Proust, and Abraham Lincoln were all confirmed melancholics. So enough Prozac-ing of our brains. Let's embrace our depressive sides as the wellspring of creativity. What most people take for contentment, Wilson argues, is living death, and what the majority takes for depression is a vital force. In Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy, Wilson suggests it would be better to relish the blues that make humans people. Eric G. Wilson is the Thomas H. Pritchard Professor of English at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The recipient of several important awards, including a National Humanities Center year-long fellowship, he is the author of five books on the relationship between literature and psychology. Consumer trends and popular medical and psychological interests indicate that Americans are addicted to happiness. At an increasing rate, they pop pills, seek both clinical and non-traditional therapies, read recent scientific studies that take for granted the population's quest for happiness, or buy self-help books by everyone from armchair philosophers and clinical psychologists to the Dalai Lama on how to achieve a trouble-free life: "Stumbling on Happiness," "Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment"; "The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living." The titles themselves draw a stark portrait of the war on melancholy.
More than any other generation, Americans today believe in the transformative power of positive thinking. Happiness is considered a liberty, if not an ultimate life goal. But the scholar Eric G. Wilson argues that melancholia is necessary to any thriving culture, that it is the muse of great literature, painting, music, and innovation--and that it is the force underlying original insights. Francisco Goya, Emily Dickinson, Marcel Proust, and Abraham Lincoln--all confirmed melancholics.
What most people take for contentment, Wilson argues, is living death, and what the majority sees as depressive is a vital force that inspires creativity, spurs ambition, and helps people form more intimate bonds with one another. It's time to throw off the shackles of positivity and relish the blues that make us human. "Mr. Wilson's basic thesis is that, without suffering, the human soul becomes stagnant and empty . . . We must live between the poles of sadness and joy and not try to expunge misery from our lives. Mr. Wilson makes a strong case . . . to deny our essential sadness in the face of a tragic world is to suppress a large part of what we are as human beings."--Colin McGinn, "The Wall Street Journal"" " "Utilitarianism is the philosophical doctrine according to which happiness is the sole intrinsic value--the only thing that is good in itself. Although invented by 19th-century Britons, notably Jeremy Bentham and J.S. Mill, utilitarianism has some claim to be the official philosophy of the U.S.A. or, as a philosopher might have it, the 'Utilitarian States of America.' In America, happiness is what makes life good, and unhappiness is what makes it bad. We must therefore seize the former and avoid the latter. Eric G. Wilson, a professor of English at Wake Forest University, disagrees, contending that utilitarianism has it the wrong way around. The 'happy types, ' as he calls them, are apt to be bland, superficial, static, hollow, one-sided, bovine, acquisitive, deluded and foolish. Sold on the ideal of the happy smile and the cheerful salutation, they patrol the malls in dull uniformity, zombie-like, searching for contentment and pleasure, locked inside their own dreams of a secure and unblemished world, oblivious to objective reality, cocooned in a protective layer of bemused well-being . . . Mr. Wilson's basic thesis is that, without suffering, the human soul becomes stagnant and empty. We can only reach our full potential through pain--not a pathological kind of pain but the kind that comes from a recognition of death, decay and the bad day (or decade). We must live between the poles of sadness and joy and not try to expunge misery from our lives. Mr. Wilson makes a strong case for this anti-utilitarianism, in prose both spare and lavish. (Of Coleridge he writes: 'He was hurt into these sublimities. He was axed into ecstasy.') And indeed, to deny our essential sadness in the face of a tragic world is to suppress a large part of what we are as human beings. It is to retreat into a fearful solipsism, refusing to peep out into the world beyond--an approach to life that is all the more fatuous in that it can never succeed . . . Mr. Wilson's case for the dark night of the soul brings a much needed corrective to today's mania for cheerfulness. One would almost say that, in its eloquent contrarianism and earnest search for meaning, "Against Happiness" lifts the spirits."--Colin McGinn, "The Wall Street Journal""
" Wilson has] the passionate soul of a nineteenth-century
Shakespeare's tragic plays, Mozart's sublime symphonies, Einstein's revolutionary theories--how did these geniuses create such magnificent and highly original works? Were their brains different from those of ordinary people? Using modern neuroscience together with first-person accounts of creative breakthroughs from artists and scientists such as Mozart, Henri Poincar , and Neil Simon, The Creative Brain illuminates where extraordinary creativity comes from.Acclaimed brain scientist Nancy Andreasen proposes that, due to enriched connections between certain areas of the brain, geniuses are able to tap into the unconscious mind in ways that most of us can't. She also explores the link between creativity and mental illness, and she shows how all of us can enhance our creative potential through mental exercises. Clearly and accessibly written, The Creative Brain is a fascinating investigation into the mystery of human genius.
Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is a gifted animal scientist who has designed one third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. She also lectures widely on autism--because Temple Grandin is autistic, a woman who thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways that are incomprehensible to the rest of us.In this unprecedented book, Grandin delivers a report from the country of autism. Writing from the dual perspectives of a scientist and an autistic person, she tells us how that country is experienced by its inhabitants and how she managed to breach its boundaries to function in the outside world. What emerges in Thinking in Pictures is the document of an extraordinary human being, one who, in gracefully and lucidly bridging the gulf between her condition and our own, sheds light on the riddle of our common identity.
When journalist Dennis Cass was nineteen years old his stepfather, Bill, suffered from a psychotic break. Cass tried to commit him to a mental institution only to watch Bill escape from a cab en route to a Harlem hospital and run raving down the streets of Manhattan. Some fifteen years later, a bout of writer's block turned Cass's thoughts toward the brain.
A complete stranger to science, Cass immersed himself in the world of neuroscience, subjecting himself to brain scans, psychological tests, and scientific conferences, as he attempted to gain a better understanding of ADHD, anxiety, stress, motivation and reward, and consciousness. Then things got a little weird. What began as a more clinical effort to understand himself soon became a personal and emotional journey into the fragile, mysterious workings of the mind and the self.
Head Case is a charming, hilarious, and at times harrowing memoir of scientific experimentation. It's a story of science and society, of fathers and sons, and of how the past lives on in the present. Along the way the book asks timeless questions: What do we know about ourselves? What can we know about ourselves? And how much self-knowledge can a single person handle?
"As sweet and funny and sad and true and heartfelt a memoir as one could find." --from the foreword by Augusten Burroughs
Ever since he was young, John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits--an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother, Augusten Burroughs, in them)--had earned him the label "social deviant." It was not until he was forty that he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger's syndrome. That understanding transformed the way he saw himself--and the world. A born storyteller, Robison has written a moving, darkly funny memoir about a life that has taken him from developing exploding guitars for KISS to building a family of his own. It's a strange, sly, indelible account--sometimes alien yet always deeply human.
Now updated with a new afterword
One of the world's leading experts on language and the mind explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.