What Is Happiness and Why Does It Elude Us?

Top Pick April 9, 2023 Brookline Free
Michael, left, and Adam Sandel
Michael, left, and Adam Sandel (Courtesy photo)

How can you be a better friend and even be better company with yourself? In this season of renewal, how can we improve our dynamic with nature and with time itself?

Join Congregation Kehillath Israel, Combined Jewish Philanthropies and Brookline Booksmith in-person or on Zoom as we share a rare visit with a father and son duo of philosophers and authors—Michael and Adam Sandel—in pursuit of practical wisdom for the path toward flourishing and higher purpose.

A book signing of Adam’s new book, “Happiness in Action: A Philosopher’s Guide to the Good Life,” will follow the event. A representative of Brookline Booksmith will be on site from 4-6:30 p.m. selling copies of the book for signing after the talk.

“Happiness in Action” draws on ancient and modern thinkers and on two seemingly disparate pursuits, philosophy and fitness, to offer a surprising answer to the age-old human question of the meaning of the good life. True happiness, Sandel argues, comes from immersing oneself in activity that is intrinsically rewarding and learning to see life as a journey. At the heart of his account of life as a journey are three virtues that get displaced and distorted by our goal-oriented striving: self-possession, friendship, and engagement with nature. To illustrate the struggle of living up to these virtues, Sandel looks to literature, film, and television, and also to his own commitments and adventures.

Adam Adatto Sandel is a philosopher, award-winning teacher, and holder of the Guinness World Record for the Most Pull-Ups in One Minute. Author of the critically acclaimed “The Place of Prejudice: A Case for Reasoning within the World,” he has taught at Harvard University. He is currently an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, New York.

Michael Joseph Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard University. His books on justice, democracy, ethics, markets, and meritocracy have been translated into more than 30 languages. His course “Justice” was Harvard’s first to be made freely available online and has been viewed by tens of millions of people around the world.

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Fact Sheet
Sunday, April 9, 2023, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Congregation Kehillath Israel
384 Harvard St
Brookline, MA 02446

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