The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

Discussion Leader – Carl Angotti

11 a.m., February 10, 2019

Recently, the HCSV Book Discussion Group read the Jonathan Haidt book – “The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom”. His book explores the human search for happiness via modern scientific approaches and the ancient wisdom that has been passed on by many former Philosophers and Religious persons. To this end he tries to help encapsulate what is meant by happiness, its pursuits and what might be considered its root causes.

We will use a mixed format of video and other material to explore Haidt’s book among ourselves as it relates to our understanding of happiness and to our lives.


Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He received his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992 and then did post-doctoral research at the University of Chicago and in Orissa, India. He taught at the University of Virginia for 16 years before moving to NYU-Stern in 2011. He was named one of the “top global thinkers” by Foreign Policy magazine, and one of the “top world thinkers” by Prospect magazine.

His research focuses on morality – its emotional foundations, cultural variations, and developmental course. He began his career studying the negative moral emotions, such as disgust, shame, and vengeance, but then moved on to the understudied positive moral emotions, such as admiration, awe, and moral elevation. He is the co-developer of Moral Foundations theory, and of the research site He is a co-founder of, which advocates for viewpoint diversity in higher education…….


This video and presentation discussion will be led by Carl Angotti, a longtime member of the Humanist Community. He is trained and worked as an Electronic Engineering Consultant for many years, and has been an amateur student of Philosophy and Psychology since his youth.

Slides from this Forum can be found here.

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