From the list on understanding what's really important.
Who am I?
When I entered my fifties, I was very surprised to discover that I didn’t have my life all figured out. This was especially surprising since the nature of a good human life has been my research topic for decades. What I have learned, from philosophy and from my collaborations with psychologists, is that it’s always going to be a process. We have to figure out what matters and how to get it, we have to navigate value conflicts, and we have to accept that the answers will change as our circumstances change. The books I’ve recommended aren’t guides to life, but I think they’re great for understanding the process.
Valerie's book list on understanding what's really important
Why did Valerie love this book?
My work focuses on fulfilling values and resolving conflicts among goals as the key to well-being. This can sound very individualistic, so it’s important to understand what a fundamentally social species we are.
In this book, the evolutionary biologist Joseph Henrich explains how our social nature, especially our ability to learn from each other, has been essential to our success as a species.
There are other ways of learning about our social nature – the importance of relationships is everywhere in the literature on happiness, for instance – but this book gives a wonderful big-picture view of how interdependent we really are.
It’s also just fun to read – or to listen to, which is how I encountered it (on Audible).