The book is divided into two parts: in the first part, Husserl’s phenomenology is argued as a method to describe pure intersubjective values which impact on our social and individual life; in the second part, Husserl’s ethical writings are used to discuss the issue of values themselves as practical objects. This volume sheds light on the open issue of value and practical experience beyond the common dichotomy between a positivistic and deontological perspective. In this sense, this book offers a third phenomenological way to expound this heated issue.
Husserl's Ethics and Practical Intentionality constitutes one of the major new interventions in this burgeoning field of Husserl scholarship, and offers an unrivaled perspective on the question of ethics in Husserl's philosophy through a focus on volumes not yet translated into English.
This book offers a refreshing perspective on stagnating ethical debates that pivot around conceptions of relativism and universalism, shedding light on a phenomenological ethics beyond the common dichotomy.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.
Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.
In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.
Furthermore, the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. Why is the city-state better than the nation-state, why is debt bad for you, and why is what we call “efficient” not efficient at all? Why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak? Why should you write your resignation letter before even starting on the job? How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives? The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine. And throughout, in addition to the street wisdom of Fat Tony of Brooklyn, the voices and recipes of ancient wisdom, from Roman, Greek, Semitic, and medieval sources, are loud and clear.
Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world.
Erudite, witty, and iconoclastic, Taleb’s message is revolutionary: The antifragile, and only the antifragile, will make it.
Praise for Antifragile
“Ambitious and thought-provoking . . . highly entertaining.”—The Economist
“A bold book explaining how and why we should embrace uncertainty, randomness, and error . . . It may just change our lives.”—Newsweek
Ahmed draws on the intellectual history of happiness, from classical accounts of ethics as the good life, through seventeenth-century writings on affect and the passions, eighteenth-century debates on virtue and education, and nineteenth-century utilitarianism. She engages with feminist, antiracist, and queer critics who have shown how happiness is used to justify social oppression, and how challenging oppression causes unhappiness. Reading novels and films including Mrs. Dalloway, The Well of Loneliness, Bend It Like Beckham, and Children of Men, Ahmed considers the plight of the figures who challenge and are challenged by the attribution of happiness to particular objects or social ideals: the feminist killjoy, the unhappy queer, the angry black woman, and the melancholic migrant. Through her readings she raises critical questions about the moral order imposed by the injunction to be happy.
Animal tracks, word magic, the speech of stones, the power of letters, and the taste of the wind all figure prominently in this intellectual tour de force that returns us to our senses and to the sensuous terrain that sustains us. This major work of ecological philosophy startles the senses out of habitual ways of perception.
For a thousand generations, human beings viewed themselves as part of the wider community of nature, and they carried on active relationships not only with other people with other animals, plants, and natural objects (including mountains, rivers, winds, and weather patters) that we have only lately come to think of as "inanimate." How, then, did humans come to sever their ancient reciprocity with the natural world? What will it take for us to recover a sustaining relation with the breathing earth?
In The Spell of the Sensuous David Abram draws on sources as diverse as the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, Balinese shamanism, Apache storytelling, and his own experience as an accomplished sleight-of-hand of magician to reveal the subtle dependence of human cognition on the natural environment. He explores the character of perception and excavates the sensual foundations of language, which--even at its most abstract--echoes the calls and cries of the earth. On every page of this lyrical work, Abram weaves his arguments with a passion, a precision, and an intellectual daring that recall such writers as Loren Eisleley, Annie Dillard, and Barry Lopez.
Goethean phenomenology (so named for Goethe's observations) is a scientific method capable of bringing the clarity of natural science to this context of phenomena. Unconsciously, scientific observers have always been using the context to read the text. The phenomenological method involves training observers to look at the activity of thinking itself as it perceives intentionally. It then uses this activity itself as a means of perception. The observer thus becomes conscious that physical nature is indeed a text, and that its meaning derives from the etheric context.
Unlike the more common hypothetical and deductive methods--which presupose a detached observer--the phenomenological method is based on active participation by the observer. This eliminates the need to construct speculative hypotheses; the observer's awareness of his or her own intentionality ensures the veracity of the observations. The etheric world is not a new hypothesis; it is, however, a new domain of observation.
The authors--Jochen Bockemühl, Christof Lindenau, Georg Maier, Ernst-August Müller, Hermann Poppelbaum, Dietrich Rapp, and Wolfgang Schad--have all written extensively on "participatory" science and related matters. In this ground-breaking collection, they each explore an aspect of the etheric world and its relationship to human thinking. They systematically lead the reader into the "formative movements" of nature and offer genuine insight into the far-reaching mystery of life.
The father of existentialism, Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was a philosopher who could write like an angel. With only a sentence or two, he could plumb the depths of the human spirit. In this collection of some 800 quotations, the reader will find dazzling bon mots next to words of life-changing power. Drawing from the authoritative Princeton editions of Kierkegaard's writings, this book presents a broad selection of his wit and wisdom, as well as a stimulating introduction to his life and work.
Organized by topic, this volume covers notable Kierkegaardian concerns such as anxiety, despair, existence, irony, and the absurd, but also erotic love, the press, busyness, and the comic. Here readers will encounter both well-known quotations ("Life must be understood backward. But then one forgets the other principle, that it must be lived forward") and obscure ones ("Beware false prophets who come to you in wolves' clothing but inwardly are sheep--i.e., the phrasemongers"). Those who spend time in these pages will discover the writer who said, "my grief is my castle," but who also taught that "the best defense against hypocrisy is love."
Illuminating and delightful, this engaging book also provides a substantial portrait of one of the most influential of modern thinkers.
Gathers some 800 quotations
Drawn from the authoritative Princeton editions of Kierkegaard's writings
Includes an introduction, a brief account and timeline of Kierkegaard's life, a guide to further reading, and an index
What is the nature of the relationship of Jacques Derrida and deconstruction to Edmund Husserl and phenomenology? Is deconstruction a radical departure from phenomenology or does it trace its origins to the phenomenological project? In Derrida and Husserl, Leonard Lawlor illuminates Husserl's influence on the French philosophical tradition that inspired Derrida's thought. Beginning with Eugen Fink's pivotal essay on Husserl's philosophy, Lawlor carefully reconstructs the conceptual context in which Derrida developed his interpretation of Husserl. Lawlor's investigations of the work of Jean CavaillÃ ̈s, Tran-Duc-Thao, and Jean Hyppolite, as well as recent texts by Derrida, reveal the depth of Derrida's relationship to Husserl's phenomenology. Along the way, Lawlor revisits and sheds light on the origin of many important Derridean concepts, such as deconstruction, the metaphysics of presence, diffÃ©rance, intentionality, the trace, and spectrality.
in the direction of Idealism. Returning to the materiality of life, Henry's material phenomenology situates central phenomenological themes--intentionality, temporality, embodiment, and intersubjectivity--within the full concreteness of life.
One of the most accessible of Henry's books, Material Phenomenology is essential reading for those interested in the future of phenomenology or in a philosophy of life in the truest sense.
The second section of Visual Intelligence examines the role which various media play in creating the images which impact our lives: how visual images create a language with profound psychological meaning, and how print, television, and film media manipulate images to create desired emotional effects. Close-ups explore visual subtleties in such areas as digital manipulation, camera attitudes, and contextual framing, as well as the social consequences of “image” as an abstract concept expressed in concrete visual terms. Part III looks critically at the most controversial areas of image persuasiveness today—advertising, politics, and entertainment.
A Phenomenological Study
Edward S. Casey
A pioneering investigation of the multiple ways of remembering and the difference that memory makes in our daily lives.
A Choice Outstanding Academic Book
An excellent book that provides an in-depth phenomenological and philosophical study of memory." —Choice
... a stunning revelation of the pervasiveness of memory in our lives." —Contemporary Psychology
[Remembering] presents a study of remembering that is fondly attentive to its rich diversity, its intricacy of structure and detail, and its wide-ranging efficacy in our everyday, life-world experience.... genuinely pioneering, it ranges far beyond what established traditions in philosophy and psychology have generally taken the functions and especially the limits of memory to be." —The Humanistic Psychologist
Edward S. Casey provides a thorough description of the varieties of human memory, including recognizing and reminding, reminiscing and commemorating, body memory and place memory. The preface to the new edition extends the scope of the original text to include issues of collective memory, forgetting, and traumatic memory, and aligns this book with Casey’s newest work on place and space. This ambitious study demonstrates that nothing in our lives is unaffected by remembering.
Studies in Continental Thought—John Sallis, general editor
Preface to the Second Edition
Introduction Remembering Forgotten: The Amnesia of Anamnesis
Part One: Keeping Memory in Mind
Remembering as Intentional: Act Phase
Remembering as Intentional: Object Phase
Part Two: Mnemonic Modes
Part Three: Pursuing Memory beyond Mind
Part Four: Remembering Re-membered
The Thick Autonomy of Memory
Freedom in Remembering
Salamon suggests that the difference between transgendered and normatively gendered bodies is not, in the end, material. Rather, she argues that the production of gender itself relies on a disjunction between the "felt sense" of the body and an understanding of the body's corporeal contours, and that this process need not be viewed as pathological in nature. Examining the relationship between material and phantasmatic accounts of bodily being, Salamon emphasizes the productive tensions that make the body both present and absent in our consciousness and work to confirm and unsettle gendered certainties. She questions traditional theories that explain how the body comes to be and comes to be made one's own and she offers a new framework for thinking about what "counts" as a body. The result is a groundbreaking investigation into the phenomenological life of gender.
Martin Heidegger’s 1925–26 lectures on truth and time provided much of the basis for his momentous work, Being and Time. Not published until 1976—three months before Heidegger’s death—as volume 21 of his Complete Works, it is nonetheless central to Heidegger’s overall project of reinterpreting Western thought in terms of time and truth.
The text shows the degree to which Aristotle underlies Heidegger’s hermeneutical theory of meaning. It also contains Heidegger’s first published critique of Husserl and takes major steps toward establishing the temporal bases of logic and truth. Thomas Sheehan’s elegant and insightful translation offers English-speaking readers access to this fundamental text for the first time.
Carbaugh shows how listening to communication in cultural scenes like these can help reveal how deeply identity is situated in various communicative practices. These include a ritual of play, symbolic allusions to different classes of people, a diversity in the forms of names used upon marriage, the play between genders and gender-neutral language, and the relationship between language, nature, community, and politics. Concluding commentary links the studies to the contemporary American scene, and shows how the focus on communication can integrate into community living both shared and separate identities. Emerging from these studies is a view of communication as not only a situated expression of selves in American scenes, but also an active contributor in constituting those very identities and scenes.
L’Imaginationwas published in 1936 when Jean-Paul Sartre was thirty years old. Long out of print, this is the first English translation in many years. The Imagination is Sartre’s first full philosophical work, presenting some of the basic arguments concerning phenomenology, consciousness and intentionality that were to later appear in his master works and be so influential in the course of twentieth-century philosophy.
Sartre begins by criticising philosophical theories of the imagination, particularly those of Descartes, Leibniz and Hume, before establishing his central thesis. Imagination does not involve the perception of ‘mental images’ in any literal sense, Sartre argues, yet reveals some of the fundamental capacities of consciousness. He then reviews psychological theories of the imagination, including a fascinating discussion of the work of Henri Bergson. Sartre argues that the ‘classical conception’ is fundamentally flawed because it begins by conceiving of the imagination as being like perception and then seeks, in vain, to re-establish the difference between the two. Sartre concludes with an important chapter on Husserl’s theory of the imagination which, despite sharing the flaws of earlier approaches, signals a new phenomenological way forward in understanding the imagination.
The Imagination is essential reading for anyone interested in the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, phenomenology, and the history of twentieth-century philosophy.
This new translation includes a helpful historical and philosophical introduction by Kenneth Williford and David Rudrauf. Also included is Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s important review of L’Imagination upon its publication in French in 1936.
Translated by Kenneth Williford and David Rudrauf.
In the English-speaking world, where “analytic philosophy” dominates, phenomenology has recently emerged as a hot topic after decades of neglect. This has resulted from a dramatic upswing in interest in consciousness, the condition that makes all experience possible. Since the special significance of phenomenology is that it investigates consciousness, analytic philosophers have begun to turn to it as an underutilized resource. For the same reason, Husserl’s work is now widely studied by cognitive scientists.
The current revival of interest in phenomenology also stems from the recognition that not every kind of question can be approached by means of experimental techniques. Not all questions are scientific in that sense. Thus, if there is to be knowledge in logic, mathematics, ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics, epistemology (theory of knowledge), psychology (from the inside), and the study of consciousness, among others, another method is clearly needed. Phenomenology is an attempt to rectify this. Its aim is to focus on the world as given in experience, and to describe it with unprecedented care, rigor, subtlety, and completeness. This applies not only to the objects of sense experience, but to all phenomena: moral, aesthetic, political, mathematical, and so forth. One can avoid the obscure problem of the real, independent existence of the objects of experience in these domains by focusing instead on the objects, as experienced, themselves, along with the acts of consciousness which disclose them.
Phenomenology thus opens up an entirely new field of investigation, never previously explored. Rather than assuming, or trying to discern, what exists outside the realm of the mental, and what causal relations pertain to these extra-mental entities, we can study objects strictly as they are given, that is, as they appear to us in experience.
This book explains what phenomenology is and why it is important. It focuses primarily on the works and ideas of Husserl, but also discusses important later thinkers, giving special emphasis to those whose contributions are most relevant to contemporary concerns. Finally, while Husserl’s greatest contributions were to the philosophical foundations of logic, mathematics, knowledge, and science, this book also addresses extensively the relatively neglected contribution of phenomenology to value theory, especially ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics.
Martin Heidegger’s The Event offers the most in-depth articulation of his later work’s most foundational concept, as well as his most substantial self-critique of his Contributions to Philosophy: Of the Event. Written between 1936 and 1944, and published posthumously as volume 71 of his Complete Works, The Event collects Heidegger’s private writings in response to his Contributions.
Richard Rojcewicz’s faithful and straightforward translation offers the English-speaking reader intimate contact with the author’s process of formulating some of his most important concepts. This book lays out how the Event is to be understood and ties it closely to looking, showing, self-manifestation, and the self-unveiling of the gods.
In Habitations of the Veil, Rebecka Rutledge
Fisher uses theory implicit in W. E. B. Du Bois’s use of metaphor to draw out
and analyze what she sees as a long tradition of philosophical metaphor in
African American literature. She demonstrates how Olaudah Equiano, Frances Ellen
Watkins Harper, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, and Ralph Ellison each use
metaphors to develop a critical discourse capable of overcoming the limits of
narrative language to convey their lived experiences. Fisher’s philosophical
investigations open these texts to consideration on ontological and
epistemological levels, in addition to those concerned with literary craft and
the politics of black identity.
Few ancient works have been as influential as the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and emperor of Rome (A.D. 161–180). A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus’s insights and advice—on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others—have made the Meditations required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style. For anyone who struggles to reconcile the demands of leadership with a concern for personal integrity and spiritual well-being, the Meditations remains as relevant now as it was two thousand years ago.
In Gregory Hays’s new translation—the first in thirty-five years—Marcus’s thoughts speak with a new immediacy. In fresh and unencumbered English, Hays vividly conveys the spareness and compression of the original Greek text. Never before have Marcus’s insights been so directly and powerfully presented.
With an Introduction that outlines Marcus’s life and career, the essentials of Stoic doctrine, the style and construction of the Meditations, and the work’s ongoing influence, this edition makes it possible to fully rediscover the thoughts of one of the most enlightened and intelligent leaders of any era.
Michael J. Sandel's "Justice" course is one of the most popular and influential at Harvard. Up to a thousand students pack the campus theater to hear Sandel relate the big questions of political philosophy to the most vexing issues of the day, and this fall, public television will air a series based on the course. Justice offers readers the same exhilarating journey that captivates Harvard students. This book is a searching, lyrical exploration of the meaning of justice, one that invites readers of all political persuasions to consider familiar controversies in fresh and illuminating ways. Affirmative action, same-sex marriage, physician-assisted suicide, abortion, national service, patriotism and dissent, the moral limits of markets—Sandel dramatizes the challenge of thinking through these con?icts, and shows how a surer grasp of philosophy can help us make sense of politics, morality, and our own convictions as well. Justice is lively, thought-provoking, and wise—an essential new addition to the small shelf of books that speak convincingly to the hard questions of our civic life.
Walter Lowrie's magnificent translation of these seminal works continues to provide an ideal introduction to Kierkegaard. And, as Gordon Marino argues in a new introduction, these books are as relevant as ever in today's age of anxiety.
In this “landmark contribution to humanity’s understanding of itself” (The New York Times Book Review) social psychologist Jonathan Haidt challenges conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to conservatives and liberals alike.
Drawing on his twenty five years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology, Haidt shows how moral judgments arise not from reason but from gut feelings. He shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and he shows why each side is actually right about many of its central concerns. In this subtle yet accessible book, Haidt gives you the key to understanding the miracle of human cooperation, as well as the curse of our eternal divisions and conflicts. If you’re ready to trade in anger for understanding, read The Righteous Mind.
The book offers a general account of Husserl and the background of his philosophy. The early chapters are devoted to his mathematical-philosophical and psychological studies. The refutation of psychologism is present in detail, together with the critical reaction to it. The development of his logical theories in the light of contemporary literature at the close of the 19th century is next considered. The main content of the six Logical Investigations follows, which contribute to the phenomenological elucidation of experience and knowledge. The phenomenological philosophy of logic as developed in Husserl's later writings is then introduced, followed by a discussion of the phenomenological method and its proper function. Farber makes clear his preference for phenomenology as a purely descriptive method and his opposition to have it serve as a last stronghold of metaphysics.
Indispensable as groundwork for descriptive philosophical study, this book will deeply interest not only serious students of philosophy and psychology, but also those who are concerned with the philosophical aspects of mathematics, social and natural sciences, law and psychiatry.
Marvin Farber (1901-1980) taught at the University of Buffalo from 1927-1974. During that time he founded and was the editor of Philosophical and Phenomenological Research. In the early 1920's he received his doctorate at Harvard University and he studied in Germany under Edmund Husserl. He is the author of three major works on phenomenology, Phenomenology as a Method, Naturalism and Subjectivism and this volume.
Martin Heidegger’s Contributions to Philosophy, written in the late 1930s and published posthumously in 1989, is now widely viewed as his second magnum opus, after Being and Time. Here, Heidegger lays the groundwork for a new conception of thought and being, rooting them both in the event of appropriation. Here, Heidegger establishes the language and intellectual framework necessary for all of his later writings.
Contributions was composed as a series of private ponderings that were not originally intended for publication. They are nonlinear and radically at odds with the traditional understanding of thinking. This translation presents Heidegger in plain and straightforward terms, allowing surer access to this new turn in Heidegger’s conception of being.
Since its initial publication in 1958, The Poetics of Space has been a muse to philosophers, architects, writers, psychologists, critics, and readers alike. The rare work of irresistibly inviting philosophy, Bachelard’s seminal work brims with quiet revelations and stirring, mysterious imagery. This lyrical journey takes as its premise the emergence of the poetic image and finds an ideal metaphor in the intimate spaces of our homes. Guiding us through a stream of meditations on poetry, art, and the blooming of consciousness itself, Bachelard examines the domestic places that shape and hold our dreams and memories. Houses and rooms; cellars and attics; drawers, chests, and wardrobes; nests and shells; nooks and corners: No space is too vast or too small to be filled by our thoughts and our reveries. In Bachelard’s enchanting spaces, “We are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.”
This new edition features a foreword by Mark Z. Danielewski, whose bestselling novel House of Leaves drew inspiration from Bachelard’s writings, and an introduction by internationally renowned philosopher Richard Kearney who explains the book’s enduring importance and its role within Bachelard’s remarkable career.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Matters of marriage, the ethical versus the aesthetic, dread, and, increasingly, the severities of Christianity are pondered by Kierkegaard in this intense work.
Sam Harris’s first book, The End of Faith, ignited a worldwide debate about the validity of religion. In the aftermath, Harris discovered that most people—from religious fundamentalists to nonbelieving scientists—agree on one point: science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, our failure to address questions of meaning and morality through science has now become the most common justification for religious faith. It is also the primary reason why so many secularists and religious moderates feel obligated to "respect" the hardened superstitions of their more devout neighbors.
In this explosive new book, Sam Harris tears down the wall between scientific facts and human values, arguing that most people are simply mistaken about the relationship between morality and the rest of human knowledge. Harris urges us to think about morality in terms of human and animal well-being, viewing the experiences of conscious creatures as peaks and valleys on a "moral landscape." Because there are definite facts to be known about where we fall on this landscape, Harris foresees a time when science will no longer limit itself to merely describing what people do in the name of "morality"; in principle, science should be able to tell us what we ought to do to live the best lives possible.
Bringing a fresh perspective to age-old questions of right and wrong and good and evil, Harris demonstrates that we already know enough about the human brain and its relationship to events in the world to say that there are right and wrong answers to the most pressing questions of human life. Because such answers exist, moral relativism is simply false—and comes at increasing cost to humanity. And the intrusions of religion into the sphere of human values can be finally repelled: for just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim algebra, there can be no Christian or Muslim morality.
Using his expertise in philosophy and neuroscience, along with his experience on the front lines of our "culture wars," Harris delivers a game-changing book about the future of science and about the real basis of human cooperation.
Starting with an overview of Husserl’s life and works, and his place in twentieth-century philosophy and in Western philosophy as a whole, Smith introduces Husserl’s conception of phenomenology, explaining Husserl’s innovative theories of intentionality, objectivity, subjectivity, and intersubjectivity. In subsequent chapters Smith covers Husserl’s logic, metaphysics, realism and transcendental idealism, epistemology, and (meta)ethics. Finally, the author assesses the significance and implications of Husserl’s work for contemporary philosophy of mind and cognitive science.
Also included is a timeline, glossary, and extensive suggestions for further reading, making Husserl, second edition, essential reading for anyone interested in phenomenology, twentieth-century philosophy, and the continuing influence of this eminent philosopher.
With a final chapter looking at future directions for research on possible intersections between new phenomenology and analytic philosophy, this is an essential read for anyone seeking an overview of this important strand of contemporary European thought.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE ECONOMIST
With the wisdom, humor, curiosity, and sharp insights that have brought millions of readers to his New York Times column and his previous bestsellers, David Brooks has consistently illuminated our daily lives in surprising and original ways. In The Social Animal, he explored the neuroscience of human connection and how we can flourish together. Now, in The Road to Character, he focuses on the deeper values that should inform our lives.
Looking to some of the world’s greatest thinkers and inspiring leaders, Brooks explores how, through internal struggle and a sense of their own limitations, they have built a strong inner character. Labor activist Frances Perkins understood the need to suppress parts of herself so that she could be an instrument in a larger cause. Dwight Eisenhower organized his life not around impulsive self-expression but considered self-restraint. Dorothy Day, a devout Catholic convert and champion of the poor, learned as a young woman the vocabulary of simplicity and surrender. Civil rights pioneers A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin learned reticence and the logic of self-discipline, the need to distrust oneself even while waging a noble crusade.
Blending psychology, politics, spirituality, and confessional, The Road to Character provides an opportunity for us to rethink our priorities, and strive to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth.
“Joy,” David Brooks writes, “is a byproduct experienced by people who are aiming for something else. But it comes.”
Praise for The Road to Character
“A hyper-readable, lucid, often richly detailed human story.”—The New York Times Book Review
“This profound and eloquent book is written with moral urgency and philosophical elegance.”—Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree and The Noonday Demon
“A powerful, haunting book that works its way beneath your skin.”—The Guardian
“Original and eye-opening . . . Brooks is a normative version of Malcolm Gladwell, culling from a wide array of scientists and thinkers to weave an idea bigger than the sum of its parts.”—USA Today
In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, VERY GOOD LIVES presents J.K. Rowling's words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life. How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?
Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world famous author addresses some of life's most important questions with acuity and emotional force.