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All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age
 
 
Author
Hubert Dreyfus & Sean Dorrance Kelly.
Publisher Free Press  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8.75 x 5.75 x 1 inches
ISBN 9781416596158
Pages/Publication Date 254/2011
Daedalus Item Code 23206
This item is not available.
Description
What constitutes human excellence? And what is the best way to live a life? These are questions that human beings have been asking since the beginning of time. Philosophers Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly argue that our search for meaning in life was once fulfilled by our responsiveness to forces greater than ourselves—a "higher power," whether it was one God or many, imbuing the ordinary moments of life with wonder and gratitude. Through their discussion of some of the great works of Western literature, from Homer's Odyssey to Melville's Moby Dick, Dreyfus and Kelly explain how we have lost our passionate engagement with the things that gave our lives purpose, and show how, by reading our culture's classics anew, we can regain our involvement with the wonder and beauty of the world.

"Many people in today's world do not recognize 'shining' things when they see them. Instead, feelings of loss, sadness, angst, and despair prevail. Dreyfus and Kelly lament that fact and respond to the situation by introducing (or reintroducing) readers to several literary classics of the Western world.... The organizing principle is mostly thematic, with chapters dealing with nihilism, polytheism, monotheism, and autonomy. The work is not religious in the traditional sense. Jesus and Christianity are brought into the discussion only occasionally as conversation partners, and the target audience includes people who would rather listen to Immanuel Kant than the Apostle Paul.... The conclusion is hopeful—that one can live a life worth living in a secular age. It starts with recognizing 'shining' things when we encounter them. This book is proof that some of the Western classics can help us do just that."—Booklist

 
 
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