CRF Blog

All Things Shining

by Bill Hayes

In All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age, philosophy professors Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly look at what value the classics of literature have in today’s world.

From the New York Times Book Review:

Here, two distinguished philosophers from the heart of the profession offer a meditation on the meaning of life, in a sharp, engaging style that will appeal to readers both within the academy and beyond it. They provide a compressed narrative of changes in Western understanding of human existence over the course of nearly three millenniums, and argue that reading great works of literature allows us to rediscover the reverence, gratitude and amazement that were available in Homeric times. These qualities, they believe, can be cultivated to provide a bulwark against the nihilism they rightly view as threatening our ability to lead meaningful lives in the 21st century. “The gods have not withdrawn or abandoned us,” they conclude. “We have kicked them out.” [more]

Below is an interview of the authors conducted at UC Berkeley.