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44 books about Conduct of life [sort by author]      

Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World through Stories
Jill Doerfler
Michigan State University Press, 2013

For the Anishinaabeg people, who span a vast geographic region from the Great Lakes to the Plains and beyond, stories are vessels of knowledge. They are bagijiganan, offerings of the possibilities within Anishinaabeg life. Existing along a broad narrative spectrum, from aadizookaanag (traditional or sacred narratives) to dibaajimowinan (histories and news)—as well as everything in between—storytelling is one of the central practices and methods of individual and community existence. Stories create and understand, survive and endure, revitalize and persist. They honor the past, recognize the present, and provide visions of the future. In remembering, (re)making, and (re)writing stories, Anishinaabeg storytellers have forged a well-traveled path of agency, resistance, and resurgence. Respecting this tradition, this groundbreaking anthology features twenty-four contributors who utilize creative and critical approaches to propose that this people’s stories carry dynamic answers to questions posed within Anishinaabeg communities, nations, and the world at large. Examining a range of stories and storytellers across time and space, each contributor explores how narratives form a cultural, political, and historical foundation for Anishinaabeg Studies. Written by Anishinaabeg and non-Anishinaabeg scholars, storytellers, and activists, these essays draw upon the power of cultural expression to illustrate active and ongoing senses of Anishinaabeg life. They are new and dynamic bagijiganan, revealing a viable and sustainable center for Anishinaabeg Studies, what it has been, what it is, what it can be.
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Creating a Human World: A New Psychological and Religious Anthropology In Dialogue with Freud, Heidegger, and Kierkegaard
Ernest Daniel Carrere
University of Scranton Press, 2006

In Creating a Human World, Trappist monk and scholar Ernest Daniel Carrere explores what it means to be fully human, to live in a shared world, and to resist the easy tendency to flee reality and seek pleasure in material pursuits. To do so he examines the writings of three great modern thinkers—Sigmund Freud, Martin Heidegger, and Søren Kierkegaard—and proposes a new reading of their work in light of his own understanding of New Testament teachings.

Carrere elucidates the paradoxical spiritual truth that salvation lies not in an escape from humanity, but in embracing it.  An interdisciplinary tour de force, this book will appeal to anyone interested in philosophy, psychology, religion, or cultural anthropology.
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The Culture of Merit: Nobility, Royal Service, and the Making of Absolute Monarchy in France, 1600-1789
Jay M. Smith
University of Michigan Press, 1996

The eighteenth century's critique of privilege and its commitment to the idea of advancement by merit are widely regarded as sources of modernity. But if meritocratic values were indeed the product of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, how do we explain earlier attention to merit--especially the nobility whose values the Revolution rejected? The Culture of Merit probes this paradox by analyzing changing perceptions of merit among the old nobility from the age of Louis XIII to the eve of the French Revolution.
Jay M. Smith argues that the early modern nobility instinctively drew a correlation between the meaning of merit and an image of the "sovereign's gaze." In the early seventeenth century, merit meant the qualities traditionally associated with aristocratic values: generosity, fidelity, and honor. Nobles sought to display those qualities before the appreciative gaze of the king himself. But the expansion of the monarchy forced the routinization of the sovereign's gaze, and Louis XIV began to affirm and reward new qualities--talent and application--besides those thought innately noble.
The contradictions implicit within the absolute monarchy's culture of merit are demonstrated by the eighteenth-century French army, which was dominated by the nobility, but also committed to efficiency and expertise. Smith shows that the army's continuous efforts to encourage and reward "merit" led to a clash of principles. The ever-growing emphasis on talent and discipline led reformers--the great majority of them noble--to attack the most egregious examples of privilege and favoritism in the army. Smith's analysis of the long-term evolution in conceptions of royal service suggests a new explanation for the shift in values signified by the French Revolution. The transition away from the "personal" gaze of the king toward the "public" gaze of the monarchy and nation foretold the triumph of a new culture of merit in which noble birth would have no meaning.
The Culture of Merit will interest historians and other social scientists concerned with issues of aristocratic identity, state formation, professionalization, and the changing political culture of pre-Revolutionary France.
Jay M. Smith is Assistant Professor of History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
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Dialogues and Addresses
Madame de Maintenon
University of Chicago Press, 2004

Born Françoise d'Aubigné, a criminal's daughter reduced to street begging as a child, Madame de Maintenon (1653-1719) made an improbable rise from impoverished beginnings to the summit of power as the second, secret wife of Louis XIV. An educational reformer, Maintenon founded and directed the celebrated academy for aristocratic women at Saint-Cyr. This volume presents the dialogues and addresses in which Maintenon explains her controversial philosophy of education for women.

Denounced by her contemporaries as a political schemer and religious fanatic, Maintenon has long been criticized as an opponent of gender equality. The writings in this volume faithfully reflect Maintenon's respect for social hierarchy and her stoic call for women to accept the duties of their state in life. But the writings also echo Maintenon's more feminist concerns: the need to redefine the virtues in the light of women's experience, the importance of naming the constraints on women's freedom, and the urgent need to remedy the scandalous neglect of the education of women.

In her writings as well as in her own model school at Saint-Cyr, Maintenon embodies the demand for educational reform as the key to the empowerment of women at the dawn of modernity.
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Discourse to Lady Lavinia His Daughter
Annibal Guasco
University of Chicago Press, 2003

When eleven-year-old Lavinia Guasca began her new life as a lady-in-waiting at the court of Turin, she brought with her a parting gift from her father Annibal (1540-1619): a detailed guidebook he wrote to help steer her through the many pitfalls of court life. Lavinia had her father's Discourse published in 1586; this English translation is the first version published in any form since that time.

The Discourse displays an incredibly far-sighted view of women's education. Annibal thought gifted young girls should develop their talents and apply them to careers outside the home. In the Discourse, he details the unique and extremely rigorous educational program to which he had subjected Lavinia almost from the cradle with this end in mind. To complete Lavinia's education, Annibal filled the Discourse with advice on spirituality and morality, health and beauty, and how to behave at court—everything a well-bred lady-in-waiting would need to know. This edition also includes an appendix that traces the later events of Lavinia's life through excerpts from her father's letters.
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Discovering the Laws of Life
Sir John Templeton
Templeton Press, 2009

“Truly a legend in our time, John Templeton understands that the real measure of a person's success in life is not financial accomplishment but moral integrity and inner character.” —Billy Graham
“This is a book that belongs to the list of seminal publications of the twentieth century. How grateful the world will be that John Templeton has shared his secret openly, forthrightly, packed with integrity and healing powers.” —Robert Schuller
Formerly published by Continuum in1994.

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The Education of a Christian Woman: A Sixteenth-Century Manual
Juan Luis Vives
University of Chicago Press, 2000

"From meetings and conversation with men, love affairs arise. In the midst of pleasures, banquets, dances, laughter, and self-indulgence, Venus and her son Cupid reign supreme. . . . Poor young girl, if you emerge from these encounters a captive prey! How much better it would have been to remain at home or to have broken a leg of the body rather than of the mind!" So wrote the sixteenth-century Spanish humanist Juan Luis Vives in a famous work dedicated to Henry VIII's daughter, Princess Mary, but intended for a wider audience interested in the education of women.

Praised by Erasmus and Thomas More, Vives advocated education for all women, regardless of social class and ability. From childhood through adolescence to marriage and widowhood, this manual offers practical advice as well as philosophical meditation and was recognized soon after publication in 1524 as the most authoritative pronouncement on the universal education of women. Arguing that women were intellectually equal if not superior to men, Vives stressed intellectual companionship in marriage over procreation, and moved beyond the private sphere to show how women's progress was essential for the good of society and state.
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Epicurean Simplicity
Stephanie Mills
Island Press, 2003

"In this book, I relate the pleasures, as well as the virtues and difficulties of a perhaps simpler than average North American life." So begins ecological thinker and writer Stephanie Mills's Epicurean Simplicity, a thoughtful paean to living, like Thoreau, a deliberate life.Mills's account of the simple life reaches deep into classical sources of pleasure -- good food, good health, good friends, and particularly the endless delights of the natural world. Her musings about the life she desires -- and the life she has created -- ultimately led her to the third century Greek philosopher Epicurus, whose philosophy was premised on the trustworthiness of the senses, a philosophy that Mills wholeheartedly embraces. While later centuries have come to associate Epicurus's name with hedonism, Mills discovered that he extolled simplicity and prudence as the surest means to pleasure, and his thinking offers an important philosophical touchstone for the book.As the author explains, one of the primary motivations for her pursuit of simplicity is her concern about the impacts of a consumerist lifestyle on the natural world. Mills touches on broad range of topics relating to that issue -- social justice, biological extinctions, the global economy, and also more personal aspects such as friendship, the process of country living, the joys of physical exertion, the challenges of a writer's life, and the natural history and seasonal delights of a life lived close to nature. An overarching theme is the destructiveness of consumerism, and how even a simple life affects a wide range of organisms and adds strain to the earth's systems. The author uses her own experience as an entry point to the discussion with a self-effacing humor and lyrical prose that bring big topics to a personal level.Epicurean Simplicity is beautifully crafted, fluid, inspiring, and enlightening, examining topics of critical importance that affect us all. It celebrates the pleasures, beauty, and fulfillment of a simple life, a goal being sought by Americans from all walks of life, from harried single parents to corporate CEOs. For fans of natural history or personal narrative, for those concerned about social justice and the environment, and for those who have come to know and love Stephanie Mills through her speaking and writing, Epicurean Simplicity is a rare treasure.
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The Essential Worldwide Laws of Life
Sir John Templeton
Templeton Press, 2012

What does it mean to live a good life? The major scriptures of the world, various schools of philosophical thought, storytellers, scientists, artists, and historians have all offered answers to this question. Surprisingly, many of these answers are common among nearly all of these sources. Famed investor and philanthropist John Templeton called these commonalities the “laws of life,” and in The Essential Worldwide Laws of Life he gathers the best of these teachings into an accessible and inspiring primer on these valuable lessons.
This handsome new volume is aimed at assisting readers of all ages and from all parts of the world to learn more about
the universal truths of life that transcend modern times or particular cultures in the hope that it may help them to make their lives not only more joyous but more useful. The laws that were chosen for this book are both important and possible to apply in anyone’s life. Each law is presented in an essay format, with applications, opinions, stories, examples, and quotations offered to emphasize the validity of the law. Each quotation that serves as the title of an essay points to a particular law that holds true for most people under most circumstances.
The material is designed to inspire as well as encourage readers, to help them consider more deeply the laws they personally live by, and to reap the rewards of their practical application.

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Ethical Communication: Moral Stances in Human Dialogue
Clifford G. Christians and John C. Merrill
University of Missouri Press, 2009

Proponents of professional ethics recognize the importance of theory but also know that the field of ethics is best understood through real-world applications. This book introduces students and practitioners to important ethical concepts through the lives of major thinkers ranging from Aristotle to Ayn Rand, John Stuart Mill to the Dalai Lama.

Some two dozen contributors approach media ethics from five perspectives—altruistic, egoistic, autonomous, legalist, and communitarian—and use real people as examples to convey ethical concepts as something more than mere abstractions. Readers see how Confucius represents group loyalty; Gandhi, nonviolent action; Mother Teresa, the spirit of sacrifice. Each profile provides biographical material, the individual’s basic ethical position and contribution, and insight into how his or her moral teachings can help the modern communicator. The roster of thinkers is gender inclusive, ethnically diverse, and spans a broad range of time and geography to challenge the misperception that moral theory is dominated by Western males.

These profiles challenge us not to give up on moral thinking in our day but to take seriously the abundance of good ideas in ethics that the human race provides. They speak to real-life struggles by applying to such trials the lasting quality of foundational thought. Many of the root values to which they appeal are cross-cultural, even universal.

Exemplifying these five ethical perspectives through more than two dozen mentors provides today’s communicators with a solid grounding of key ideas for improving discussion and attaining social progress in their lives and work. These profiles convey the diversity of means to personal and social betterment through worthwhile ideas that truly make ethics come alive.
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Go Forth and Do Good: Memorable Notre Dame Commencement Addresses
Wilson D. Miscamble, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame Press, 2003

Although the first proper Notre Dame commencement--conferring degrees on two candidates--took place in 1848, General William Tecumseh Sherman was Notre Dame's first graduation speaker with a truly national reputation. He attended Notre Dame's ceremony in 1865, just months after accepting the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnson's Confederate army. Sherman, whose sons had been students at Notre Dame, came less to give an address than to utter words of thanks for the kindness shown to his family, who had found refuge in the area during the war. When prevailed upon to speak, he offered some extemporaneous remarks, calling on Notre Dame graduates and students to "be ready at all times to perform bravely the battle of life."

Go Forth and Do Good: Memorable Notre Dame Commencement Addresses brings together twenty-four notable graduation speeches, ranging from the words General Sherman delivered in 1865 to President George W. Bush's remarks in 2001. Also included in this fine collection is a letter sent to 1986 graduates by Mother Teresa and Father Theodore M. Hesburgh's final charge to the graduating class of 1987. Wilson D. Miscamble, C.S.C., provides a delightful introduction that clarifies the importance of the selected speeches and places them in the context of the history of both Notre Dame and the world.

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Golden Nuggets: Tfp
John Marks Templeton
Templeton Press, 1997

This inspiring collection of sayings by Sir John Templeton provides a welcoming book for a person seeking deeper meaning in life. Practical and uplifting advice, based on a lifetime of experience, is gathered in an attractive package for one's personal use or as a perfect gift.

Juxtaposed to his sayings are short essays that elaborate on the ideas and make them easier to understand and apply. The thoughts are arranged by themes such as thanksgiving, forgiveness, positive thinking, love, humility, and happiness.

For young or old, rich or poor, this wisdom will find many applications in people's lives. Some samples of the sayings arre:

•An attitude of gratitude creates blessings.
 
•Happiness comes from spiritual wealth, not material wealth.
 
•Joy is not in things, but in you.
 
•Happiness is always a by-product.

The timeless wisdom of Sir John Templeton presented in a  beautiful gift book


 
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The Good Life
Yi-Fu Tuan
University of Wisconsin Press, 1986

“[Tuan] explores answers to an old and unanswerable question: how should we live? . . . The Good Life is a little anthology of good feeling, touchstones of joy . . . These pleasures make the book a pleasure, not of conviction or belief, but of conversation’s meandering exploration.”—New York Times Book Review

“Tuan, after all, is one of the few geographers who can be read for pleasure, and by the public as well as by the professional. But read not merely for pleasure, nor yet to mark, learn, and inwardly digest. Rather, consider Tuan’s challenge to identify your concept of the good life, and then try to construct that life.”—Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

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The Good Wife's Guide (Le Ménagier de Paris): A Medieval Household Book
translated by Gina L. Greco and Christine M. Rose
Cornell University Press, 2009

In the closing years of the fourteenth century, an anonymous French writer compiled a book addressed to a fifteen-year-old bride, narrated in the voice of her husband, a wealthy, aging Parisian. The book was designed to teach this young wife the moral attributes, duties, and conduct befitting a woman of her station in society, in the almost certain event of her widowhood and subsequent remarriage. The work also provides a rich assembly of practical materials for the wife's use and for her household, including treatises on gardening and shopping, tips on choosing servants, directions on the medical care of horses and the training of hawks, plus menus for elaborate feasts, and more than 380 recipes.

The Good Wife's Guide is the first complete modern English translation of this important medieval text also known as Le Ménagier de Paris (the Parisian household book), a work long recognized for its unique insights into the domestic life of the bourgeoisie during the later Middle Ages. The Good Wife's Guide, expertly rendered into modern English by Gina L. Greco and Christine M. Rose, is accompanied by an informative critical introduction setting the work in its proper medieval context as a conduct manual. This edition presents the book in its entirety, as it must have existed for its earliest readers.

The Guide is now a treasure for the classroom, appealing to anyone studying medieval literature or history or considering the complex lives of medieval women. It illuminates the milieu and composition process of medieval authors and will in turn fascinate cooking or horticulture enthusiasts. The work illustrates how a (perhaps fictional) Parisian householder of the late fourteenth century might well have trained his wife so that her behavior could reflect honorably on him and enhance his reputation.

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Handbook for William: A Carolingian Woman's Counsel for Her Son (Medieval Texts in Translation)
Dhuoda
Catholic University of America Press, 1999

Hardship and Happiness
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
University of Chicago Press, 2014

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BCE–65 CE) was a Roman Stoic philosopher, dramatist, statesman, and advisor to the emperor Nero, all during the Silver Age of Latin literature. The Complete Works of Lucius Annaeus Seneca is a fresh and compelling series of new English-language translations of his works in eight accessible volumes. Edited by world-renowned classicists Elizabeth Asmis, Shadi Bartsch, and Martha C. Nussbaum, this engaging collection helps restore Seneca—whose works have been highly praised by modern authors from Desiderius Erasmus to Ralph Waldo Emerson—to his rightful place among the classical writers most widely studied in the humanities.
 
Hardship and Happiness collects a range of essays intended to instruct, from consolations—works that offer comfort to someone who has suffered a personal loss—to pieces on how to achieve happiness or tranquility in the face of a difficult world. Expertly translated, the essays will be read and used by undergraduate philosophy students and experienced scholars alike.
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How Should We Live?: A Practical Approach to Everyday Morality
John Kekes
University of Chicago Press, 2014

What is your highest ideal? What code do you live by? We all know that these differ from person to person. Artists, scientists, social activists, farmers, executives, and athletes are guided by very different ideals. Nonetheless for hundreds of years philosophers have sought a single, overriding ideal that should guide everyone, always, everywhere, and after centuries of debate we’re no closer to an answer. In How Should We Live?, John Kekes offers a refreshing alternative, one in which we eschew absolute ideals and instead consider our lives as they really are, day by day, subject to countless vicissitudes and unforeseen obstacles.
           
Kekes argues that ideal theories are abstractions from the realities of everyday life and its problems. The well-known arenas where absolute ideals conflict—dramatic moral controversies about complex problems involved in abortion, euthanasia, plea bargaining, privacy, and other hotly debated topics—should not be the primary concerns of moral thinking. Instead, he focuses on the simpler problems of ordinary lives in ordinary circumstances. In each chapter he presents the conflicts that a real person—a schoolteacher, lawyer, father, or nurse, for example—is likely to face. He then uses their situations to shed light on the mundane issues we all must deal with in everyday life, such as how we use our limited time, energy, or money; how we balance short- and long-term satisfactions; how we deal with conflicting loyalties; how we control our emotions; how we deal with people we dislike; and so on. Along the way he engages some of our most important theorists, including Donald Davidson, Thomas Nagel, Christine Korsgaard, Harry Frankfurt, Charles Taylor, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Bernard Williams, ultimately showing that no ideal—whether autonomy, love, duty, happiness, or truthfulness—trumps any other. No single ideal can always guide how we overcome the many different problems that stand in the way of living as we should. Rather than rejecting such ideals, How Should We Live? offers a way of balancing them by a practical and pluralistic approach—rather than a theory—that helps us cope with our problems and come closer to what our lives should be. 
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How to Do It: Guides to Good Living for Renaissance Italians
Rudolph M. Bell
University of Chicago Press, 1999

How to Do It shows us sixteenth-century Italy from an entirely new perspective: through manuals which were staples in the households of middlebrow Italians merely trying to lead better lives. Addressing challenges such as how to conceive a boy, the manuals offered suggestions such as tying a tourniquet around your husband's left testicle. Or should you want to goad female desires, throw 90 grubs in a liter of olive oil, let steep in the sun for a week and apply liberally on the male anatomy. Bell's journey through booklets long dismissed by scholars as being of little literary value gives us a refreshing and surprisingly fun social history.

"Lively and curious reading, particularly in its cascade of anecdote, offered in a breezy, cozy, journalistic style." —Lauro Martines, Times Literary Supplement

"[Bell's] fascinating book is a window on a lost world far nearer to our own than we might imagine. . . . How pleasant to read his delightful, informative and often hilarious book." —Kate Saunders, The Independent

"An extraordinary work which blends the learned with the frankly bizarre." —The Economist

"Professor Bell has a sly sense of humor and an enviably strong stomach. . . . He wants to know how people actually behaved, not how the Church or philosophers or earnest humanists thought they should behave. I loved this book." —Christopher Stace, Daily Telegraph
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Human Goodness
Tuan, Yi-Fu
University of Wisconsin Press, 2008

In his many best-selling books, Yi-Fu Tuan seizes big, metaphysical issues and considers them in uniquely accessible ways. Human Goodness is evidence of this talent and is both as simple, and as epic, as it sounds.
            Genuinely good people and their actions, Tuan contends, are far from boring, naive, and trite; they are complex, varied, and enormously exciting. In a refreshing antidote to skeptical times, he writes of ordinary human courtesies, as simple as busing your dishes after eating, that make society functional and livable. And he writes of extraordinary courage and inventiveness under the weight of adversity and evil. He considers the impact of communal goodness over time, and his sketches of six very different individuals—Confucius, Socrates, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, John Keats, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, and Simone Weil—confirm that there are human lives that can encourage and lead us to our better selves.
 
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians, and Best Books for Special Interests, selected by the Public Library Association
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Justifiable Conduct: Self-Vindication in Memoir
Erich Goode
Temple University Press, 2013

How do memoirists make their work interesting, daring, exciting, and unorthodox enough so that they attract an audience, yet not so heinous and scandalous that their readers are unable to empathize or identify with them? In Justifiable Conduct, renowned sociologist Erich Goode explores the different strategies memoirists use to "neutralize" their alleged wrongdoing and fashion a more positive image of themselves for audiences. He examines how writers, including James Frey, Susan Cheever, Roman Polanski, Charles Van Doren and Elia Kazan, explain, justify, contextualize, excuse, or warrant their participation in activities such as criminal behavior, substance abuse, sexual transgressions, and political radicalism.

Using a theory of deviance neutralization, Goode assesses the types of behavior exhibited by these memoirists to draw out generic narratives that are most effective in attempting to absolve the actor-author. Despite the highly individualistic and variable lives of these writers, Goode demonstrates that memoirists use a conventional vocabulary for their unconventional behavior.  
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Lessons in Mortality: Doctors and Patients Struggling Together
Allen B. Weisse, M.D.
University of Missouri Press, 2006

It doesn’t take a trip to the doctor to know that the bond between physicians and patients isn’t what it used to be. Specialization, rising costs, managed care, the insurance industry, the shadow of litigation—so many factors have changed what was once a traditional relationship grounded in respect and caring. 
            In light of the altered climate in health care, this thoughtful book deals with the way that today’s doctors and patients view themselves and one another. Allen Weisse has observed the changing medical scene during half a century of treating patients and training future physicians, and he writes frankly here about how doctors and patients have come to deal with illness in the twenty-first century. 
Weisse first recalls his own brush with death as a young man diagnosed with testicular cancer—a time when one thinks of God and Death and little else. He then shares true stories of how different people have dealt with cancer, heart disease, stroke, infectious disease, AIDS, and other dire diagnoses—narratives enhanced by professional savvy and enriched by the kind of empathy that the survivor of such a calamity can provide.
Drawing from a storehouse of experiences shared by colleagues, patients, and friends, Weisse writes with passion, conviction, and clarity to encourage a renewal of the openness and trust that seem to be lacking in today’s doctor-patient relationships. These are accounts both uplifting and disturbing—some sad, others tinged with humor—intended to make doctors and patients alike come to a fuller realization that we are all together in this delicate but crucial business of staying alive.
            While not quite foreseeing a return to the Norman Rockwell image of the family physician, Weisse urges the kind of care and compassion that patients often feel is lacking from their doctors, and he reassures victims of seemingly hopeless conditions that, despite the obstacles they often face, there are still health care professionals who truly have their patients’ welfare foremost in mind. Lessons in Mortality is just what the doctor ordered for a health care system in crisis: an honest look at the medical profession that encourages greater understanding on the part of both physicians and patients, reminding us that what we most need is one another.
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LIFE AND ACTION
Michael Thompson
Harvard University Press, 2008

Any sound practical philosophy must be clear on practical concepts—concepts, in particular, of life, action, and practice. This clarity is Michael Thompson’s aim in his ambitious work. In Thompson’s view, failure to comprehend the structures of thought and judgment expressed in these concepts has disfigured modern moral philosophy, rendering it incapable of addressing the larger questions that should be its focus.
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A Life Worth Living
Robert Zaretsky
Harvard University Press, 2013

Exploring themes that preoccupied Albert Camus--absurdity, silence, revolt, fidelity, and moderation--Robert Zaretsky portrays a moralist who refused to be fooled by the nobler names we assign to our actions, and who pushed himself, and those about him, to challenge the status quo. For Camus, rebellion against injustice is the human condition.
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Noble Purpose: Joy Of Living A Meaningful Life
William Bill Damon
Templeton Press, 2003

This book describes the personal and spiritual benefits of living life in a way that matters, with an awareness that one's life can reflect a sense of higher purpose no matter what the circumstances. The book draws upon religious, philosophical, and literary writings to show how humans in many cultures and historical epochs have pursued noble purposes by answering God's call as each hears it.

Noble purpose can be pursued both in heroic acts and in everyday behavior. The book shows how ordinary people—teachers, business professionals, parents, citizens—can ennoble what they do by being mindful of its deepest meaning. It also points out that humility is a necessary virtue for those who pursue a noble purpose. Great heroes are bold, courageous, and sometimes audacious in their determination to succeed; but they are also humble in their awareness of their own limitations. Moreover, a person must never violate basic moral laws while pursuing a noble purpose—the means must be as moral as the ends.

Purpose brings coherence and satisfaction to people's lives, producing joy in good times and resilience in hard times. It also presents a paradox: hard work in service of noble purpose that transcends personal gain is a surer path to happiness than the self-indulgent pursuit of happiness for its own sake. The closer we come to God's purpose for us, the more satisfied our lives become.

From the inspiration and examples conveyed in this book, we learn that all individuals have the capacity to discover their own God-given abilities, to learn the world's need for the services they can provide, and to experience joy in serving society and God in their special ways. As theologian Frederick Buechner writes, "The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."

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Nuns Behaving Badly: Tales of Music, Magic, Art, and Arson in the Convents of Italy
Craig A. Monson
University of Chicago Press, 2010

Witchcraft. Arson. Going AWOL. Some nuns in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy strayed far from the paradigms of monastic life. Cloistered in convents, subjected to stifling hierarchy, repressed, and occasionally persecuted by their male superiors, these women circumvented authority in sometimes extraordinary ways. But tales of their transgressions have long been buried in the Vatican Secret Archive. That is, until now.

In Nuns Behaving Badly, Craig A. Monson resurrects forgotten tales and restores to life the long-silent voices of these cloistered heroines. Here we meet nuns who dared speak out about physical assault and sexual impropriety (some real, some imagined). Others were only guilty of misjudgment or defacing valuable artwork that offended their sensibilities. But what unites the women and their stories is the challenges they faced: these were women trying to find their way within the Catholicism of their day and through the strict limits it imposed on them. Monson introduces us to women who were occasionally desperate to flee cloistered life, as when an entire community conspired to torch their convent and be set free. But more often, he shows us nuns just trying to live their lives. When they were crossed—by powerful priests who claimed to know what was best for them—bad behavior could escalate from mere troublemaking to open confrontation.

In resurrecting these long-forgotten tales and trials, Monson also draws attention to the predicament of modern religious women, whose “misbehavior”—seeking ordination as priests or refusing to give up their endowments to pay for priestly wrongdoing in their own archdioceses—continues even today. The nuns of early modern Italy, Monson shows, set the standard for religious transgression in their own age—and beyond.

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On Benefits
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
University of Chicago Press, 2011

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BCE–65 CE) was a Roman Stoic philosopher, dramatist, statesman, and advisor to the emperor Nero, all during the Silver Age of Latin literature. The Complete Works of Lucius Annaeus Seneca is a fresh and compelling series of new English-language translations of his works in eight accessible volumes. Edited by world-renowned classicists Elizabeth Asmis, Shadi Bartsch, and Martha C. Nussbaum, this engaging collection restores Seneca—whose works have been highly praised by modern authors from Desiderius Erasmus to Ralph Waldo Emerson—to his rightful place among the classical writers most widely studied in the humanities.

On Benefits, written between 56 and 64 CE, is a treatise addressed to Seneca’s close friend Aebutius Liberalis. The longest of Seneca’s works dealing with a single subject—how to give and receive benefits and how to express gratitude appropriately—On Benefits is the only complete work on what we now call “gift exchange” to survive from antiquity. Benefits were of great personal significance to Seneca, who remarked in one of his later letters that philosophy teaches, above all else, to owe and repay benefits well.

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Overcoming Our Evil: Human Nature and Spiritual Exercises in Xunzi and Augustine
Aaron Stalnaker
Georgetown University Press, 2007

Can people ever really change? Do they ever become more ethical, and if so, how? Overcoming Our Evil focuses on the way ethical and religious commitments are conceived and nurtured through the methodical practices that Pierre Hadot has called "spiritual exercises." These practices engage thought, imagination, and sensibility, and have a significant ethical component, yet aim for a broader transformation of the whole personality. Going beyond recent philosophical and historical work that has focused on ancient Greco-Roman philosophy, Stalnaker broadens ethical inquiry into spiritual exercises by examining East Asian as well as classical Christian sources, and taking religious and seemingly "aesthetic" practices such as prayer, ritual, and music more seriously as objects of study.

More specifically, Overcoming Our Evil examines and compares the thought and practice of the early Christian Augustine of Hippo, and the early Confucian Xunzi. Both have sophisticated and insightful accounts of spiritual exercises, and both make such ethical work central to their religious thought and practice. Yet to understand the two thinkers' recommendations for cultivating virtue we must first understand some important differences. Here Stalnaker disentangles the competing aspects of Augustine and Xunxi's ideas of "human nature." His groundbreaking comparison of their ethical vocabularies also drives a substantive analysis of fundamental issues in moral psychology, especially regarding emotion and the complex idea of "the will," to examine how our dispositions to feel, think, and act might be slowly transformed over time. The comparison meticulously constructs vivid portraits of both thinkers demonstrating where they connect and where they diverge, making the case that both have been misunderstood and misinterpreted. In throwing light on these seemingly disparate ancient figures in unexpected ways, Stalnaker redirects recent debate regarding practices of personal formation, and more clearly exposes the intellectual and political issues involved in the retrieval of "classic" ethical sources in diverse contemporary societies, illuminating a path toward a contemporary understanding of difference.

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The Past in the Present: Women's Higher Education in the Twentieth-Century American South
Amy T. McCandless
University of Alabama Press, 1999

The history of higher education in the 20th-century South, like the history of the region, both mirrors and diverges from the national pattern. Not surprisingly the region’s demographic, economic, social, political, and cultural characteristics have accounted for many of the variations between the education of southern women and women in the rest of the nation.
 
Southern students, McCandless finds, have generally been more Protestant, more rural, more conservative, and less affluent than their northern and western counterparts. Southern institutions have been slower to raise matriculation and graduation standards and to revise the classical curriculum. Southern administrators and legislators have opposed coeducation and integration longer and harder than college officials elsewhere. Certain types of institutions, such as all-black colleges, public women’s colleges, and separate agricultural colleges, have been more prevalent in the South. Although many of these differences are not gender-specific, all have contributed to the distinctive educational experience of women in this region.
 
Much has been written on the distinctiveness of this region, but virtually nothing has been published on the education of women in the South. By focusing on both black and white women at a wide variety of institutions and drawing on oral interviews and campus publications as well as traditional histories, McCandless is able to construct a more detailed picture of women’s collegiate experiences in the 20th-century South than those provided by general studies that rely primarily on materials from the North and Midwest.
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Personal Voices: Chinese Women in the 1980’s
Emily Honig and Gail Hershatter
Stanford University Press, 1988

Dramatic and far-reaching changes have occurred in the lives of Chinese women in the years since the death of Mao and the fall of the Gang of Four During the decade of the Cultural Revolution, attention to personal life was regarded as 'bourgeois'; in the post-Mao decade, abrupt turns in public policy made discussion of personal life imperative, and nowhere has this been more evident than in the debate about the role of women in Chinese society. This book is based on extensive personal viewing of urban women and study of contemporary literature and articles in the periodical press that touched on the problems of rural women. It is not only about the changes in women's lives but also about the excitement, confusion, and anxieties that Chinese women express as they contemplate the future of their society and their own place in it. Each chapter is devoted to one aspect of women's Lives: girlhood, adornment and sexuality, courtship, marriage, family relations, divorce, work, violence against women, and gender inequality. Giving a personal dimension to the issues discussed, the chapters close with a rich sampling of excerpts from the newly thriving women's press and other contemporary publications. Although many women in China still suffer discrimination in working life and mistreatment in the family, they can now raise questions that would have been unthinkable even ten years ago. Most notably, they can and do use the press to voice complaints, expose injustices, seek advice, and support or deplore the social changes of the 1980's.
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The Picture of Dorian Gray: An Annotated, Uncensored Edition
Oscar Wilde
Harvard University Press, 2011

The Picture of Dorian Gray altered the way Victorians understood the world they inhabited, heralding the end of a repressive era. Now, more than 120 years after Wilde handed it over to his publisher, Wilde’s uncensored typescript is published here for the first time, in an annotated, extensively illustrated edition.
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Pious Practice and Secular Constraints: Women in the Islamic Revival in Europe
Jeanette Jouili
Stanford University Press, 2015

The visible increase in religious practice among young European-born Muslims has provoked public anxiety. New government regulations seek not only to restrict Islamic practices within the public sphere, but also to shape Muslims', and especially women's, personal conduct. Pious Practice and Secular Constraints chronicles the everyday ethical struggles of women active in orthodox and socially conservative Islamic revival circles as they are torn between their quest for a pious lifestyle and their aspirations to counter negative representations of Muslims within the mainstream society.

Jeanette S. Jouili conducted fieldwork in France and Germany to investigate how pious Muslim women grapple with religious expression: for example, when to wear a headscarf, where to pray throughout the day, and how to maintain modest interactions between men and women. Her analysis stresses the various ethical dilemmas the women confronted in negotiating these religious duties within a secular public sphere. In conversation with Islamic and Western thinkers, Jouili teases out the important ethical-political implications of these struggles, ultimately arguing that Muslim moral agency, surprisingly reinvigorated rather than hampered by the increasingly hostile climate in Europe, encourages us to think about the contribution of non-secular civic virtues for shaping a pluralist Europe.
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Riches for the Mind and Spirit: John Marks Templeton's Treasury of Words to Help, Inspire, and Live By
John Marks Templeton
Templeton Press, 2006

This book contains a collection of John Templeton's favorite inspirational passages.


                 

“From the Bible, from philosophers and poets, and from other writers, we begin to form a clear understanding of the spiritual and ethical laws of life. The world's literature teaches us valuable lessons that no amount of money can buy. Those lessonsare there for everyone. They are free and they are priceless.”—John Marks Templeton


 

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Searching for Soul: A Survivor's Guide
Bobbe Tyler
Ohio University Press, 2009

Winner of a da Vinci Eye Medal for Superior Cover Design
Shortlisted for the 2010 Eric Hoffer Award’s Montaigne Medal



To dive deep into your inner life. To explore what matters most: wisdom, happiness, the pain of loss, self–accountability, aging, and more. Searching for Soul: A Survivor’s Guide is a breathtakingly honest case study: a self-examination resulting in the discovery of a meaningful life.

Bobbe Tyler blends her story with in-depth commentary, framing each chapter as a response to one of a set of questions, appended to the book, entitled The Harvesting Wisdom Interview. In her search for fulfillment, Tyler asks and answers the most difficult questions about the trauma of mental illness, divorce, financial and emotional despair. The rewards of this hard–won wisdom belong not to her alone but by way of her unflinching examination of life’s many paths, dead ends, and circuitous routes — to anyone who has faced a life–choice gone wrong — or known the indescribable recovery from addiction or abuse, or longed for the peace that seems just out of reach. This searing self–appraisal provides hope and fellowship for those who seek to know themselves better.
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The Seven Deadly Virtues: 18 Conservative Writers on Why the Virtuous Life is Funny as Hell
Jonathan V. Last
Templeton Press, 2014

An all-star team of eighteen conservative writers offers a hilarious, insightful, sanctimony-free remix of William Bennett’s The Book of Virtues—without parental controls. The Seven Deadly Virtues sits down next to readers at the bar, buys them a drink, and an hour or three later, ushers them into the revival tent without them even realizing it.
 
The book’s contributors include Sonny Bunch, Christopher Buckley, David “Iowahawk” Burge, Christopher Caldwell, Andrew Ferguson, Jonah Goldberg, Michael Graham, Mollie Hemingway, Rita Koganzon, Matt Labash, James Lileks, Rob Long, Larry Miller, P. J. O’Rourke, Joe Queenan, Christine Rosen, and Andrew Stiles. Jonathan V. Last, senior writer at the Weekly Standard, editor of the collection, is also a contributor. All eighteen essays in this book are appearing for the first time anywhere.
 
In the book’s opening essay, P. J. O’Rourke observes: “Virtue has by no means disappeared. It’s as much in public view as ever. But it’s been strung up by the heels. Virtue is upside down. Virtue is uncomfortable. Virtue looks ridiculous. All the change and the house keys are falling out of Virtue’s pants pockets.”
 
Here are the virtues everyone (including the book’s contributors) was taught in Sunday school but have totally forgotten about until this very moment.  In this sanctimony-free zone:
 
• Joe Queenan observes: “In essence, thrift is a virtue that resembles being very good at Mahjong. You’ve heard about people who can do it, but you’ve never actually met any of them.”
• P. J. O’Rourke notes: “Fortitude is quaint. We praise the greatest generation for having it, but they had aluminum siding, church on Sunday, and jobs that required them to wear neckties or nylons (but never at the same time). We don’t want those either.”
• Christine Rosen writes: “A fellowship grounded in sociality means enjoying the company of those with whom you actually share physical space rather than those with whom you regularly and enthusiastically exchange cat videos.”
• Rob Long offers his version of modern day justice: if you sleep late on the weekend, you are forced to wait thirty minutes in line at Costco.
• Jonah Goldberg offers: “There was a time when this desire-to-do-good-in-all-things was considered the only kind of integrity: ‘Angels are better than mortals. They’re always certain about what is right because, by definition, they’re doing God’s will.’ Gabriel knew when it was okay to remove a mattress tag and Sandalphon always tipped the correct amount.”
• Sonny Bunch dissects forbearance, observing that the fictional Two Minutes Hate of George Orwell’s 1984 is now actually a reality directed at living, breathing people. Thanks, in part, to the Internet, “Its targets are designated by a spontaneously created mob—one that, due to its hive-mind nature—is virtually impossible to call off.”
 
By the time readers have completed The Seven Deadly Virtues, they won’t even realize that they’ve just been catechized into an entirely different—and better—moral universe.
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Spirituality in Higher Education: Autoethnographies
Heewon Chang
Left Coast Press, 2011

This collection of articles explores how a wide range of academics-- diverse in location, rank and discipline-- understand and express how they deal with spirituality in their professional lives and how they integrate spirituality in teaching, research, administration, and advising. The contributors also analyze the culture of academia and its challenges to the spiritual development of those involved. Twenty chapter authors--from a variety of faith traditions--discuss the ways in which their own beliefs have affected their journeys through higher education. By using an autoethnographic, self-analytical lens, this collection shows how various spiritualities have influenced how higher education is understood, taught and performed. The book will stimulate debate and conversations on a topic traditionally ignored in academia
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Taking Ourselves Seriously and Getting It Right
Harry G. Frankfurt
Stanford University Press, 2006

Harry G. Frankfurt begins his inquiry by asking, "What is it about human beings that makes it possible for us to take ourselves seriously?" Based on The Tanner Lectures in Moral Philosophy, Taking Ourselves Seriously and Getting It Right delves into this provocative and original question.

The author maintains that taking ourselves seriously presupposes an inward-directed, reflexive oversight that enables us to focus our attention directly upon ourselves, and "[it] means that we are not prepared to accept ourselves just as we come. We want our thoughts, our feelings, our choices, and our behavior to make sense. We are not satisfied to think that our ideas are formed haphazardly, or that our actions are driven by transient and opaque impulses or by mindless decisions. We need to direct ourselves—or at any rate to believe that we are directing ourselves—in thoughtful conformity to stable and appropriate norms. We want to get things right."

The essays delineate two features that have a critical role to play in this: our rationality, and our ability to love. Frankfurt incisively explores the roles of reason and of love in our active lives, and considers the relation between these two motivating forces of our actions. The argument is that the authority of practical reason is less fundamental than the authority of love. Love, as the author defines it, is a volitional matter, that is, it consists in what we are actually committed to caring about. Frankfurt adds that "The object of love can be almost anything—a life, a quality of experience, a person, a group, a moral ideal, a nonmoral ideal, a tradition, whatever." However, these objects and ideals are difficult to comprehend and often in conflict with each other. Moral principles play an important supporting role in this process as they help us develop and elucidate a vision that inspires our love.

The first section of the book consists of the two lectures, which are entitled "Taking Ourselves Seriously" and "Getting It Right." The second section consists of comments in response by Christine M. Korsgaard, Michael E. Bratman, and Meir Dan-Cohen. The book includes a preface by Debra Satz.

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The Thinking Student's Guide to College: 75 Tips for Getting a Better Education
Andrew Roberts
University of Chicago Press, 2010

Each fall, thousands of eager freshmen descend on college and university campuses expecting the best education imaginable: inspiring classes taught by top-ranked professors, academic advisors who will guide them to a prestigious job or graduate school, and an environment where learning flourishes outside the classroom as much as it does in lecture halls. Unfortunately, most of these freshmen soon learn that academic life is not what they imagined. Classes are taught by overworked graduate students and adjuncts rather than seasoned faculty members, undergrads receive minimal attention from advisors or administrators, and potentially valuable campus resources remain outside their grasp.

Andrew Roberts’ Thinking Student’s Guide to College helps students take charge of their university experience by providing a blueprint they can follow to achieve their educational goals—whether at public or private schools, large research universities or small liberal arts colleges. An inside look penned by a professor at Northwestern University, this book offers concrete tips on choosing a college, selecting classes, deciding on a major, interacting with faculty, and applying to graduate school. Here, Roberts exposes the secrets of the ivory tower to reveal what motivates professors, where to find loopholes in university bureaucracy, and most importantly, how to get a personalized education. Based on interviews with faculty and cutting-edge educational research, The Thinking Student’s Guide to College is a necessary handbook for students striving to excel academically, creatively, and personally during their undergraduate years.

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The Third and Only Way: Reflections on Staying Alive
Helen Bevington
Duke University Press, 1996

In this autobiographical volume, the remarkable Helen Bevington looks for answers to the question of how to live or, more specifically, how to confront growing older. A familiar face on the literary landscape since the mid-1940s, Bevington contemplates the course of her own life in view of the suicide of her father, the final years her mother spent in unwilling solitude, and the tragic suicide of her son following a crippling automobile accident from which he could never recover. How is one to face the inevitability of death? What is the third alternative? How to persevere in life?
The unique Bevington way of autobiography recreates lessons and insights of other lives, historical figures, and compelling incidents, and combines them in a narrative that follows the emotional currents of her life. Evoking a wide range of historical and literary figures, including Chekhov, Marcus Aurelius, Flannery O’Connor, Simone de Beauvoir, Thoreau, Beatrix Potter, Sappho, Yeats, Alexander the Great, Montaigne, Saint Cecilia, Virginia Woolf, Liv Ullmann, and many others, Bevington finds in these lives a path that has guided her search away from solitude. Through her reflections on the ten years that followed her son’s death, we become aware of how far she has traveled, how the search has brightened, how she has eloquently evolved into old age. In the end she is sitting, like the Buddha, under her own fig tree, waiting not for death but for further illumination.
An original contemplation of the universal dilemmas and tragedies of existence, The Third and Only Way is at once warm, funny, and inspiring—full of learning and wisdom.
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Thrift: A Cyclopedia
David Blankenhorn
Templeton Press, 2008

In today's consumer-driven society, extolling the virtues of thrift might seem like a quaint relic of a bygone era. Americans have embraced the ideas of easy credit, instant gratification, and spending as a tool to combat everything from recessions to the effects of natural disasters and terrorist attacks. In David Blankenhorn's new compendium, Thrift: A Cyclopedia, he reminds readers of a time when thrift was one of America's most cherished cultural values.
Gathering hundreds of quotes, sayings, proverbs, and photographs of Blankenhorn's vast personal collection of thrift memorabilia, this handsome book is a treasure trove of wisdom from around the world and throughout the ages. Readers will find insights from such varied sources as the Bible, the Qur'an, William Shakespeare, Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde, J. C. Penney, and Warren Buffett. Entries are serious, inspiring, occasionally humorous, and they will go a great way toward expanding the narrow perception of thrift as simple penny pinching; replacing that myopic view with one of a broader thrift—one that, as William H. Kniffen puts it, "earns largely and spends wisely" and leads to a life of independence and comfort well into old age.
Educators and parents will find ample wisdom to pass on to the next generation about the value of hard work, saving for the future, and generosity. Historians will delight in the glimpses into the U.S. thrift movement of the 1920s. Those seeking encouragement and inspiration will find much material here for reflection on the ideals of good stewardship, diligence, and sound financial planning. As our society ails from wastefulness, growing economic inequality, indebtedness, and runaway consumerism, there could be no stronger cure than this powerful little word, "thrift", which finds its root meaning in the word "thrive."

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The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde
Harvard University Press, 2012

Over 120 years after Oscar Wilde submitted The Picture of Dorian Gray for publication, the uncensored version of his novel appears here for the first time in a paperback edition. This volume restores material, including instances of graphic homosexual content, removed by the novel’s first editor, who feared it would be “offensive” to Victorians.
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Value and the Good Life
Thomas L. Carson
University of Notre Dame Press, 2000

What Is the Good Life?
Luc Ferry
University of Chicago Press, 2005

Has inquiry into the meaning of life become outmoded in a universe where the other-worldiness of religion no longer speaks to us as it once did, or, as Nietzsche proposed, where we are now the creators of our own value? Has the ancient question of the "good life" disappeared, another victim of the technological world? For Luc Ferry, the answer to both questions is a resounding no.

In What Is the Good Life? Ferry argues that the question of the meaning of life, on which much philosophical debate throughout the centuries has rested, has not vanished, but at the very least the question is posed differently today. Ferry points out the pressures in our secularized world that tend to reduce the idea of a successful life or "good life" to one of wealth, career satisfaction, and prestige. Without deserting the secular presuppositions of our world, he shows that we can give ourselves a richer sense of life's possibilities. The "good life" consists of harmonizing life's different forces in a way that enables one to achieve a sense of personal satisfaction in the realization of one's creative abilities.
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Words Of Common Sense
Brother David Steindl-Rast
Templeton Press, 2002

Brother David Steindl-Rast takes us on a journey of discovery by identifying the wonder of the ordinary found in common sense. In a humble and insightful way he illuminates the teachings that are passed from one generation to the next. These words of common sense bring to light the important virtues and ethics that are valued by human beings worldwide. "When you drink from a stream, remember the spring," says a wise Chinese proverb that evokes thanksgiving and reflection. "A contented heart is a continual feast" directs a person to look within for their happiness rather than without.
By becoming aware of the proverbs of the world and by honoring the thread of human experience as expressed in wise sayings, the reader becomes transported to a feeling of connection with other religions and cultures. Inspiring and optimistic, Words of Common Sense helps to make a rewarding life possible within the trials of everyday living as one discovers that within the ordinary can be found the keys to living a life of meaning. When we look to the words of common sense that are around us, we can begin to make sense of things for ourselves. These words can guide, illuminate, and inspire us.

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Writing From The Heart: Young People Share Their Wisdom
Peggy Veljkovic
Templeton Press, 2000

Writing from the Heart offers us a unique window into what young people have learned about life. This collection of essays captures the values that matter most to teens—values such as love, perseverance, family, and helping others—in their own words. As the young writers reflect on their own experience, readers of all ages will be inspired by their wisdom and hope.
From Chattanooga to China, these essays are all extraordinary. They not only celebrate the accomplishments of the young writers, but also offer an opportunity to peer into the hearts and minds of young people around the world. Readers may be amazed at some of the hardships that these teens have faced, but will have a deep sense of optimism for our future. In addition, they inspire us to make the most of our lives as well.

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