• List Price: CDN$ 33.50
  • You Save: CDN$ 3.98 (12%)
Only 4 left in stock - order soon.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
How Pleasure Works: The N... has been added to your Cart
+ CDN$ 6.49 shipping
Used: Like New | Details
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Ships from the USA. Please allow 14-21 business days for delivery. This copy appears to be in nearly new condition. Free State Books. Never settle for less.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

How Pleasure Works: The New Science Of Why We Like What We Like Hardcover – May 25 2010

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
CDN$ 29.52
CDN$ 15.85 CDN$ 0.90

Harry Potter Coloring Book Deal
click to open popover

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton (May 25 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393066320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393066326
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.5 x 24.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #472,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description

Review

[A] book that is different from the slew already out there on the general subject of happiness. No advice here about how to become happier by organizing your closest; Bloom is after something deeper than the mere stuff of feeling good. — The New York Times Book Review

Engaging, evocative… Bloom, a professor of psychology at Yale, is a supple, clear writer, and his parade of counter-intuitive claims about pleasure is beguiling. — Michael Washburn (NPR)

Is there anyone who could resist a book about sex, food, art, and fun? Didn’t think so. This book is about all those things, but what turns it from a guilty pleasure into a guiltless one is its deep understanding of philosophy, developmental psychology, and evolutionary theory… How Pleasure Works should stoke your neurons into a frenzy and leave you wanting more. — Mary Carmichael (Newsweek.com)

Bloom covers food, sex and art at length and touches on much more in this accessible compendium of experiments, quotes, philosophical nuggets and anecdotes. Sigmund Freud, Mr. Pleasure Principle himself, would have approved. — Katy Steinmetz (Time)

Scholarly yet spy…. Bloom salts the book with all manner of pungent, apposite points…. A heartening, well-developed argument. — Kirkus Reviews

A gracefully written book and a lot of fun. — Peter D. Kramer (Slate)

Drawing on his own research as well as studies in neuroscience, behavioral economics, and philosophy, [Bloom] makes a powerful argument for essentialism at the crux of human pleasure. — Maywa Montenegro (Seed Magazine)

In this eloquent and provocative book, Paul Bloom takes us inside the paradoxes of pleasure, exploring everything from cannibalism to Picasso to IKEA furniture. The quirks of delight, it turns out, are a delightful way to learn about the human mind. — Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide

This book is not just a pleasure, but a revelation, by one of psychology’s deepest thinkers and best writers. Lucid and fascinating, you’ll want to read it slowly and savor the experience. — Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness

How Pleasure Works has one of the best discussions I’ve read of why art is pleasurable, why it matters to us, and why it moves us so. — Daniel Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

This book is a pearl, a work of great beauty and value, built up around a simple truth: that we are essentialists, tuned in to unseen order. — Jonathan Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

From the Back Cover

Following the path of pleasure, Bloom leads us through a menagerie of human strangeness. By the end of the trip, the magic inside us begins to make sense. This book is a pearl, a work of great beauty and value, built up around a simple truth: that we are essentialists, tuned-in to unseen order. Jonathan Haidt, author ofThe Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom Paul Bloom is among the deepest thinkers and clearest writers in the science of mind today. He has a knack for coming up with genuinely new insights about mental life ones that you haven t already read about or thought of and making them seem second nature through vivid examples and lucid explanations. Steven Pinker, author ofHow the Mind Works How Pleasure Works has one of the best discussions I ve read of why art is pleasurable, why it matters to us, and why it moves us so. Daniel Levitin, author ofThis Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession In this eloquent and provocative book, Paul Bloom takes us inside the paradoxes of pleasure, exploring everything from cannibalism to Picasso to IKEA furniture. The quirks of delight, it turns out, are a delightful way to learn about the human mind. Jonah Lehrer, author ofHow We Decide"

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
1
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
1
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
How Pleasure Works is a great book - it's entertaining and informative, and also surprising - as well as surprisingly funny. It examines different sources of pleasure - from food, to sex, to art, different forms of entertainment, and so on - and discusses recent findings in cognitive science (including a few of the author's own) that tell us about the surprisingly complex and sometimes deeply puzzling nature of human pleasure. The author argues that pleasure is not primarily a response to certain perceptual & sensory experiences, but instead has a significant cognitive component - what we think about something (whether or not we're correct) has a huge impact on how much pleasure we derive from it. The book contains many examples, which range from mildly surprising, to deeply puzzling, to just plain weird; some are very funny. The author has a fresh, engaging and easy style of writing, unlike what one finds in many science books for the lay public - this is enormously fun to read. Opening it up to any random page you'll almost certainly find yourself pulled in and getting caught up in the discussion - this book is hard to put down!
4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I haven't started reading it yet, I am disgusted. This review is not about the work, it's about how the book arrived with the cover filthy, with a dried substance that looked like blood! Can you imagine opening up the envelope and seeing dried blood and filth on a book cover! Instead of making a fuss, I cleaned the cover, the paper towel was brown when I was done! Gross. Honestly I don't even want to touch the book to read it. No consideration, no understanding on how to do business.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa31f62e8) out of 5 stars 49 reviews
109 of 126 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa32c1474) out of 5 stars Disappointing: More philosophy than scientific rigor Aug. 3 2010
By _LARS_ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
With "new science" in the title, I was expecting more from this book. Although a few research studies are mentioned here and there this is more of a philosophical discussion resolving around an essentialist theory of pleasure than something based on scientific research. Whole sections consist of speculative discussions with no evidence to back them up. The author frequently cites works of fiction (e.g. Shakespeare) and passages from the bible to support his arguments. He also often resorts to hearsay with statements such as "some say that..." for support. The book also contains outdated information, for example that female estrus is hidden from males to promote pair bonding, which has since been dis-proven in laboratory tests that indicate that males can detect estrus. (Generally his presentation of conventional model of human sexuality and inequality is outdated. See Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality for more updated information.) The author also has an outdated human-centric view, suggesting that only humans have meta-representation and theory of mind, despite quite a bit of recent evidence to the contrary.
48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa32c14c8) out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK - FASCINATING, INFORMATIVE, & FUN June 2 2010
By Avid Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How Pleasure Works is a great book - it's entertaining and informative, and also surprising - as well as surprisingly funny. It examines different sources of pleasure - from food, to sex, to art, different forms of entertainment, and so on - and discusses recent findings in cognitive science (including a few of the author's own) that tell us about the surprisingly complex and sometimes deeply puzzling nature of human pleasure. The author argues that pleasure is not primarily a response to certain perceptual & sensory experiences, but instead has a significant cognitive component - what we think about something (whether or not we're correct) has a huge impact on how much pleasure we derive from it. The book contains many examples, which range from mildly surprising, to deeply puzzling, to just plain weird; some are very funny. The author has a fresh, engaging and easy style of writing, unlike what one finds in many science books for the lay public - this is enormously fun to read. Opening it up to any random page you'll almost certainly find yourself pulled in and getting caught up in the discussion - this book is hard to put down!
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa32c17a4) out of 5 stars Where's the science? Aug. 23 2010
By W. J. McMahon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting and well written from a philosophical point of view, but the title is very misleading. This book is more about something the author calls essentialism than pleasure. He does contend that pleasure is derived from this essentialism, but provides no scientific evidence to support that point. In fact the only science is this book amounts to a few scattered citings of psychological studies that happen buttress his philosophical arguments.
27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa32c169c) out of 5 stars Fun and Thought-Provoking June 13 2010
By Read-Only - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Are you into cannibalism, incest, and wearing Hitler's sweater? If so, this book is for you! Actually, if not, then this book is even more for you. Bloom asks why it is that things have the power to please or upset us beyond their objective properties. Hitler's sweater is the same as any other sweater--it isn't evil; it never did anything wrong. So, why would it be so creepy to pull it on? Would you rather be kissed by your favorite movie star or his or her identical twin? Most people of course want the movie star... but why? Somehow, the way we think about the person and the kiss is just as important as the way the person looks and the physical act. Bloom explores such examples through domains such as sex, art, family, and food.

"How Pleasure Works" is a great read. The author skillfully draws you in to each topic with examples like Hitler's sweater and then describes relevant research that sheds light on why we like what we like. Unlike many such books, he does not get bogged down in details of experiments. Neither does the author talk down to the reader: He is congenial but not overly jokey. The pages seem to turn themselves.

At the end, the reader comes away with a greater appreciation for how complex our likes and dislikes are. However, many of the best examples (like incest and cannibalism) focus on what we DON'T like. The book's success can perhaps best be summed up by the fact that even when you are being disgusted by such examples, you still get pleasure from reading about them.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa32c1cd8) out of 5 stars I know what I like; but why? Loved this book. Dec 11 2013
By Dan E. Nicholas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
How Pleasure Works, by Paul Bloom, reviewed by Dan Nicholas Dec. 11, 2013

I like dangerous books that make you think. Paul Bloom from Yale in his How Pleasure Works has written a such a book. It's a frightful thought to pause, as he suggests, and take in just why one likes what one likes; loves what one loves.

I was intrigued to track here the science of why I am passionate about certain topics or people or ideas and bored with others. Yes, it was fun pondering here why it is that certain thoughts and acts stir me; and why and when the reverse emotions are stirred in me, to; such as disgust or fear or dread. I enjoyed his questions on why it is we love or hate the idea of God. And just what is this thing we call awe?

It's three in the morning and this professor has got me up reading about science. Takes a good writer and strong storyteller to involve the reader like this. His work reads like you're taking in a novel when what you are really doing is reading about basic science on the mind and the human condition of how we think and feel and why.

The good developmental psychologist Dr. Bloom might be an ivory tower professor in some eyes; but for me in this work he was more an observant student of two year olds. I liked how he seemed unashamed as an academic to be listed as one more philosopher awed by mystery in the universe. I liked this book. A science page turner is rare; maybe he's giving Mary Roach a run for her spot as top science writer?

The hedonist in me also loved his focus on pleasure. And I loved how my bone doctor specialist last week paused when I went to see him about my ailing elbow and I watched him grab this paperback from my lap for a quick jacket read--How Pleasure Works--before dealing with my pains.

No shock we are pretty much all pleasure hounds. But perhaps only the brave or geekish might be pulled out from the crowd as those likely to take the time and look under the hood at just why we like what we like. And yet I found his mind fascinating as he worked us though questions like the odd connection with pleasure and pain. Why one guy visits and pays $300 hour in Seattle for a Dominatrix for a simple ass whipping and another man pays $3M for Mark McGuire's 7th home run ball. The success of this title shows a lot of us out here want to muse some over all the chicken and egg questions about how and why pleasure moves us.

I loved his observations on what he calls "essentialism"; how we all seem to gravitate to the Real Deal as opposed to the fake; be it in matters of love or art or sex or theology or anything that revs us up rather than leaves us cold.

Ever been in love and wondered why it was the glance of the brunette and not the blond that yanked you from the sidelines at the party? This book's for you. It got me thinking why I was disturbed once to find that the woman I was falling for had undergone a face lift the year before and even copped to photo shopping the face lift pic before hooking me on Match.com. Which face was real? Which women? Did it matter now that I was hooked? Yes, why do these things matter at all. Or not? Well, ask like that and this is worth your time to read. Or if you just love science and a good time. Or just love asking why? You will love this book.


Feedback