All Things Shining

  • by Hubert Dreyfus, Sean Dorrance Kelly
  • Narrated by David Drummond
  • 8 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 have 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.


What the Critics Say

"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, The 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. (National Post)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent Book that refreshes the classics

This books does an amazing job of bringing the literary classics back to life to describe the problems of what has been lost in Western Society.
Read full review

- Tod

Homework suggested for novices

As someone who was not trained as a philosopher but has become fascinated with existentialism, and have been teaching myself, perhaps I am not the best to give my opinion.

I love hearing how Kelly and Dreyfus suggest to find and cultivate meaning and a sense of the sacred in our modern age. I do not like how they dismiss Sartre but do understand why. In the final chapter their fourth point does admit a need for using higher reasoning which is where Sartre's ideas seem to add to the Heideggerian perspective they are promoting. They use Kant's ethics at this point rather than drawing on Sartre.

One drawback is that this book assumes familiarity with Wallace, Homer, Mobey Dick, and fancy terms that are new (pies is, physic?). As someone not up on classic literature I now have a lot of homework to educate myself properly to fully appreciate their perspective.

Thanks so much for this book! I sure wish they would publish their second volume they planned to write. In the meantime I plan to listen to this a second time after doing my homework!
Read full review

- Gary Horlacher

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-12-2011
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books