- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Free Press (10 Nov. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 141659616X
- ISBN-13: 978-1416596165
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 287,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age Paperback – 10 Nov 2011
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“[A]n inspirational book but a highly intelligent and impassioned one.… compelling.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Offers a meditation on the meaning of life, in a sharp, engaging style …” New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Hubert Dreyfus is a leading interpreter of existential philosophy. He has taught at UC Berkeley for more than 40 years.
Sean Dorrance Kelly is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Harvard University. He is also Co-Chair of Harvard’s interdisciplinary committee for the study of Mind, Brain, and Behavior. Before arriving at Harvard, Kelly taught at Stanford and Princeton, and he was a Visiting Professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. He is considered a leading interpreter of the French and German tradition in phenomenology, as well as a prominent philosopher of mind. Kelly has published articles in numerous journals and anthologies and has received fellowships or awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEH, the NSF and the James S. McDonnell Foundation, among others.
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Top Customer Reviews
Here one would expect to find at least a citation of the Socratic "anexetastos bios"(the unexamined life- which , as Socrates proclaimed in his "Apologia"- is not worth living); the ethical life with the performance of noble acts; the contemplation of the beauty and mystery of the cosmos and some works of art (especially music) or even the meditation and various practices of oriental cultures as a substitute of the medieval "beatific vision". The authors instead seek this substitute in the elation brought about by the glimpsing of perfection of great athletes or teams of popular sports and other epiphanies of mass events. Presumably they find this more consistent with our modern mass, democratic culture.Read more ›
That arguments reaches its pinnacle in the penultimate chapter on Melville's Moby Dick. By far the longest chapter in the book (47 pages with 31 pages average per chapter), the authors are clearly of the opinion that this book is the locus classicus for the description of the transition from a theistic to an atheistic worldview - half a century before Nietzsche announced the death of God. Though interesting in itself, the analysis does little more to help us give meaning to our lives than give a lot of parables, ideas, and metaphors which can help us to make sense of our position in an empty world - but not to give meaning to it.
The best part in my opinion is the Conclusion. Here, the authors describe how to excel in some activity (their example is sports) indeed can give meaning to our lives. Like the craftsman who looks at trees and wood with a specific eye, we all should excel in what we do and in this way let specific parts of the world shine to us.
In short, this is an interesting book, though not of the depth and thoroughness that we have come to expect from Hubert Dreyfus. But than again, the book is perhaps targeted at a different audience.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have not read this book but the recipient was very pleased with this item. It was used as a 'course book' whilst studying for a particular qualification.Published on 12 Jun. 2013 by Marsh Meanderer