Ethical Wisdom by Mark Matousek

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Since the days of the first primitive tribes, we have tried to determine why one man is good and another evil. Mark Matousek arrives at the answer in Ethical Wisdom.

Contrary to what we've been taught in our reason-obsessed culture, emotions are the bedrock of ethical life; without them, human beings cannot be empathic, moral, or good.

But how do we make the judgment call between self-interest and caring for others? What does being good really mean? Which parts of morality are biological, which ethical? When should instinct be trusted and when does it lead us into trouble? How can we know ourselves to be good amidst the hypocrisy, fears, and sabotaging appetites that pervade our two-sided natures?

Drawing on the latest scientific research and interviews with social scientists, spiritual leaders, ex-cons, altruists, and philosophers, Matousek examines morality from a scientific, sociological, and anthropological standpoint. Each chapter features a series of questions, readings, interviews, parables, and anecdotes that zoom in on a particular niche of moral inquiry, making this book both utilitarian and fun.

Ethical Wisdom is an insightful and important book for readers crisscrossing their own murky moral terrain.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Mark Matousek

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MARK MATOUSEK is the author of two bestselling memoirs, Sex Death Enlightenment and The Boy He Left Behind. A contributing editor for O, The Oprah Magazine, he was a senior editor at Interview and has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, Details, and AARP magazine. Matousek lives in New York City.
Published May 24, 2011 by Anchor. 274 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships, Law & Philosophy, Science & Math, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A bestselling memoirist tackles fundamental questions regarding good and evil and the impulses that guide human behavior and emotions.

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Publishers Weekly

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Matousek (Sex Death Enlightenment) makes a case for why human beings are inherently ethical creatures in a provocative book that suffers from uneven execution.

Jan 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Ethical Wisdom

Portland Book Review

@Lael_Lenehan @melmoes could you make a You Tube Video that way we could post it afterwords?

Jan 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Ethical Wisdom

Spirituality & Practice

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Newcity Lit

A contributing editor to O: The Oprah Magazine, Matousek even gets in a plug for his boss: “Take Oprah Winfrey, who isn’t selfless but is unusually big hearted (and encourages others to be the same way).” Like most emotional/social intelligence writers, he makes overblown claims about very tentat...

Aug 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Ethical Wisdom


Enjoy three fun-filled days of activities — and don't-miss concerts by The Temptations, The Four Tops and Shania Twain.

Aug 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Ethical Wisdom

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