Synopses & Reviews
The religious turn to their faith to find meaning. But what about the many people who lead secular lives and are also hungry for meaning? What guides, what approaches are available to them?
Distinguished philosophers, Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly explain that a secular life charged with meaning is indeed within reach. It is achieved by a passionate, skillful engagement with the people, events, and wonders present in the most ordinary days--an approach to meaning that modern Western culture seems to have abandoned.
Dreyfus and Kelly use some of the greatest works of the Western Canon to trace the way we lost this passionate engagement to our surroundings and to show us how to get it back. Taking us on a journey from the wonder and openness of Homer's polytheistic world, to the monotheism of Dante, to the nihilism of Kant, to the pantheism of Melville, and finally to the spiritual difficulties of the world evoked by modern authors such as David Foster Wallace and Elizabeth Gilbert, All Things Shining will change the way we understand our culture, our history, our sacred practices, and ourselves, and offer a new--and very old--way to celebrate a secular existence.
"Dreyfus and Kelly re-evaluate such classics as Melville's Moby Dick, Homer's Odyssey, and Dante's Divine Comedy to give modern readers a sense of 'the wonder we were once capable of.' The authors do not push to recover religion but rather to repossess the moods and intensity of the ancient Greeks and shrug off what they perceive to be the present age's epidemic of apathy and nihilism. By juxtaposing canonized authors with David Foster Wallace and even Elizabeth Gilbert Dreyfus and Kelly explain, expand, and give direction in how to live in a secular age. David Drummond's voice sounds both famous and familiar as if constantly narrating a movie trailer. As professional as he sounds, over long periods of time it becomes difficult to decipher what is urgent and important when everything sounds so portentous, and movements between chapters and jumps between authors make the listening tricky; it's not always easy to discern where the argument is going and from where it originated without pages to reference. A Free Press hardcover. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"All Things Shining
[is] a smart, sweeping run through the history of Western philosophy. . . . important for the way it illuminates life today and for the controversial advice it offers on how to live."
--David Brooks New York Times
"An engaging series of spirited, brief excursions from across the centuries, into the works of David Foster Wallace, Homer and Melville, most impressively, alongside strong readings of Descartes, Aeschylus, Dante, Flaubert and Martin Luther . . . "
A wide-ranging look at the loss of meaning in the West, and a gripping guide for how to retrieve it.
About the Author
HUBERT DREYFUS earned his BA, MA, and PhD at Harvard. He is considered a leading interpreter of the work of Edmund Husserl, Michel Foucault, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, but especially of Martin Heidegger. While spending most of his teaching career at Berkeley, Dreyfus has also taught at Brandeis University, MIT, the University of Frankfurt, and Hamilton College.DAVID DRUMMOND received an AudioFile Earphones award for his very first audiobook narration effort. Since then, he has recorded nearly fifty audiobooks for many different publishers and in many different genres. He lives with his family in Seattle.SEAN DORRANCE KELLY is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Harvard. 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.