Make a Donation to the New Books Network

The New Books Network is run by volunteers, but the network has expenses. If you like what we do, consider making a contribution

John Bronsteen, Christopher Buccafusco, and Jonathan S. MasurHappiness and the Law

University of Chicago Press, 2014

by Siobhan Barco on May 12, 2015

View on Amazon

In their new book Happiness and the Law (University of Chicago Press 2014), John Bronsteen, Christopher Buccafusco, and Jonathan S. Masur argue through the use of hedonic psychological data that we should consider happiness when determining the best ways to effectuate law. In this podcast Buccafusco, Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center for Empirical Studies of Intellectual Property at the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College, shares some of the following aspects of the book:

  • How hedonic psychology measures human happiness and some of the things these studies have revealed
  • The author's new approach to evaluating laws called "well-being analysis"
  • Ways the new data on happiness has revealed a need to rethink criminal punishment
  • What the future holds for happiness research

{ 0 comments }

Robin Grier and Jerry F. HoughThe Long Process of Development: Building Markets and States in Pre-industrial England, Spain and their Colonies

May 11, 2015

According to a popular saying, "Nothing succeeds like success." As concerns what economists and political scientists call "development"–that is, progress towards liberty and prosperity–the saying seems to be true. As a general rule, the countries that were relatively free and relatively prosperous 100 years ago are the ones that are relatively free and relatively prosperous today. 200 years ago? […]

Read the full article →

Eben KirkseyThe Multispecies Salon

May 10, 2015

Eben Kirksey's wonderful new volume is an inspiring introduction to a kind of multispecies ethnography where artists, anthropologists, and others collaborate to create objects and experiences of great thoughtfulness and beauty. Growing out of a traveling art exhibit of the same name, The Multispecies Salon (Duke University Press, 2014) curates a collection of works that […]

Read the full article →

Thom van DoorenFlight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction

April 17, 2015

Thom van Dooren’s new book is an absolute must-read. (I was going to qualify that with a “…for anyone who…” and realized that it really needs no qualification.) Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction (Columbia University Press, 2014) is a beautifully written and evocative meditation on extinction. The book offers (and implicates us […]

Read the full article →

Robert W. GehlReverse Engineering Social Media: Software, Culture, and Political Economy in New Media Capitalism

April 13, 2015

Reverse Engineering Social Media: Software, Culture, and Political Economy in New Media Capitalism (Temple University Press, 2014) by Robert Gehl (University of Utah, Department of Communication) explores the architecture and political economy of social media. Gehl analyzes the ideas of social media and software engineers, using these ideas to find contradictions and fissures beneath the surfaces […]

Read the full article →

Robert PutnamOur Kids: The American Dream in Crisis

March 23, 2015

Robert Putnam is the author of Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis (Simon and Schuster, 2015). Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. He has written fourteen books including the best-seller, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. Few political scientists command attention like Robert […]

Read the full article →

Rick StrassmanDMT and the Soul of Prophecy: A New Science of Spiritual Revelation in the Hebrew Bible

March 15, 2015

DMT and the Soul of Prophecy: A New Science of Spiritual Revelation in the Hebrew Bible (Park Street Press, 2014) asks a number of provocative questions about drugs, consciousness, prophecy, and the Hebrew Bible—with attention to how a particular chemical can help us understand mystical experience. DMT (dimethyltryptamine) is a molecule endogenous to several mammals including […]

Read the full article →

Edmund RussellEvolutionary History: Uniting History and Biology to Understand Life on Earth

March 11, 2015

Evolution is among the most powerful ideas in the natural sciences. Indeed, the evolutionary theorist Theodosius Dobzhansky famously said nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. Yet despite its central place in the life sciences, relatively few geographers employ evolutionary theory in their work. In his new book Evolutionary History: Uniting History and Biology […]

Read the full article →

Orit HalpernBeautiful Data: A History of Vision and Reason since 1945

March 9, 2015

The second half of the twentieth century saw a radical transformation in approaches to recording and displaying information. Orit Halpern’s new book traces the emergence of the “communicative objectivity” that resulted from this shift and produced new forms of observation, rationality, and economy. Beautiful Data: A History of Vision and Reason since 1945 (Duke University […]

Read the full article →

Alexander R. GallowayLaruelle: Against the Digital

March 5, 2015

“The chief aim of [philosopher François Laruelle’s] life’s work is to consider philosophy without resorting to philosophy in order to do so.” What is non-philosophy, what would it look like to practice it, and what are the implications of doing so? Alexander R. Galloway introduces and explores these questions in a vibrant and thoughtful new […]

Read the full article →