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Ethical Wisdom: What Makes Us Good Hardcover – May 24, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
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“Mark Matousek guides us through a revolution in ethical science with deft, thought-provoking style. Ethical Wisdom is a riveting, fun, and insightful tour of life’s meaning and purpose, essential reading for anyone drawn to the query, ‘How ought we to live?’”
—Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence
“Mark Matousek has done some magic: he has written an informed, intelligent, humorous, insightful, and juicy book on ethics. He covers a broad field and is up-to-date and thorough. You’ll enjoy this book and maybe become a better person because of it.”
—Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul
“This broad-ranging book is remarkable for its emotional intensity, and for its message of redemption; it is a delineation of hope itself.”
—Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon
“Ethical Wisdom is a beautiful work. Bringing together the best of today's scientific research with a plainspoken forthrightness, Ethical Wsdom does what few books of this type can do: it inspires.”
—Mark Epstein, M.D., author of Thoughts without a Thinker
“Ethical Wisdom is a unique delight—a fascinating, enlightening, and adventurous romp through the territories of philosophy, psychology, science, and spirituality. Mark Matousek has pulled off a most difficult task: he has written an intellectually rigorous and expansive book that is also beautiful and funny and inspiring.”
—Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder of Omega Institute and author of Broken Open
“This book springs from the latest research on biology [and] some of the oldest human wisdom. Both are interesting, and together they are potent.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth
“I don't know how he has done it, but Mark Matousek has written a book about being good without being moralistic or judgmental. Ethical Wisdom is a call to our higher selves. Read it!”
—Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues
“Ethical Wisdom provides tremendous insight into our collective and individual psyches. Like GPS for the soul, it is a necessary guide for human evolution, and survival, in the 21st century.”
—Peter Buffett, founder of the NoVo Foundation and author of Life is What You Make It
“As a species, we have not found a healthy way to harness our basic goodness and avoid the seeds of human suffering. The book you have in your hands will show you why this is so. Engaging, thought provoking, and enlightening … this book acts as an insider’s guide to what makes us tick, and gently prompts us to look in the mirror and at our place in the great pond of life. A must read for anyone interested in making the world a better place.”
—John P. Forsyth, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University at Albany, SUNY and author of Your Life on Purpose
"Insightful and informative."
Top Customer Reviews
Gwenyth Jackaway, Ph.D
Communication and Media Studies
The mix here is Buddhism + Judaism + feminism + liberalism + contemporary American cultural influences + environmentalism + evolutionary biology + brain research. (But none of the inevitable disagreements between these perspectives are really explored.) There's nothing wrong with that -- it's rather congenial to me, but not challenging.
It seems that Matousek doesn't bother to get a lot of little things right, and simply makes stuff up when he wants to. For instance, is it meaningful or correct to say we only use twenty percent of our brains? Another example: A reference to a funny scene in "Being John Malkovich" which misunderstands the reason why everything becomes "Malkovich": The reason is that it's a feedback loop caused by the bizarre situation, *not* that the *director* ventures inside the movie star's head.
In sum: In large and in small, this raises a lot of interesting points and theories but doesn't synthesize them well, or discuss them perceptively, so I don't think it's worth a highly careful read or a thorough critique. It's really more of a feel-good, try-a-little-harder sort of book. Not as deep as your average New Yorker article, and more scattered.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author does a great job of discussing many of the internal and external forces that contribute to "our decision" making. Read morePublished on April 19, 2014 by Aynsley
The book is excellent since I already heard the author being interviewed on National Public Radio. The book arrived on time and in brand new condition.Published on August 26, 2013 by Sine Cera
My husband and I are both enjoying this book. We have had many good discussions stemming from it.
This book takes scientific ideas and makes them so relatable. It explains why humans are the way they are and really makes you think about how this relates to your own life. Read morePublished on January 4, 2012 by Amanda
Ethical Wisdom is wise, engaging and especially timely because it examines the fundamental political challenge we face in America today - our barren moral landscape. Read morePublished on November 15, 2011 by rita freedman
I have recommended this book to many already. I found it to be profoundly insightful and deeply moving. I will read it again.Published on September 27, 2011 by Lauren
Mark's writing can be deceptively simple, leave you thinking you grasped the content of the line you just read but the essence of Ethical Wisdom is the back story, the science and... Read morePublished on September 26, 2011 by Carol
I was intrigued by the title, Ethical Wisdom, but didn't know what to expect before reading it. What I found was a wonderful and enlightening book. Read morePublished on September 21, 2011 by Stacey Diane Cohen