1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.47

Buy for $24.47

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

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.

©2011 Original material by Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly. Published by arrangement with Free Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. (P)2011 HighBridge Company
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

" 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)

What listeners say about All Things Shining

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    96
  • 4 Stars
    37
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    82
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    78
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    5

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Bizarre take on the meaning of life

This is a strange one. The authors present a bizarre take on how to find meaning in life from the perspective of entitled straight white males. The communal enjoyment of passions such as hunting whales and baseball are core. Surprised that they didn’t mention car racing and bull fights. They also forgot to mention that the Homeric passions they admire only applied to a tiny section of the population rich enough to steal wives and fight duels but not worry about feeding themselves. Cartesian rationalism gave us science and medicine. Sounds like a better deal than the meaning of indulging in shared passions.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

Having spent the last few years in full time pursuit of philosophy, I can say this book is everything I hoped. Easily approachable to the initiate, but there are layers of depth of meaning in the spaces between the lines, rooted in the last 2500 years of philosophical development, tying together so much in a splendid synthesis.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderfully intriguing!

Dreyfus and Kelly provide an intriguing, exploratory, and wonderfully layered inquiry into western heritage in order to find clues about how to live meaningfully in a secular age. Although I don't agree with all of their conclusions, I think their engagement with the question is absolutely vital, and I see their book as a sterling example of the kind of literature I would like to see more of. I see their work as a secular counterpoint to Charles Taylor's "A Secular Age" (which the authors quote and engage with), and while I prefer Taylor's work for its depth and its conclusions, "All Things Shining" was one of those rare gems that I've been lucky to stumble across here on Audible.

As other commenters have noted, their focus is largely on Homer and Moby Dick, with forays into medieval Christianity and a few other sources. A greater quantity of examples would have been appreciated, but the quality of the examination is top notch. As an amateur student of the classics, I will never read any Greek work the same way again after hearing their interpretation of arete.

Although the narrator apparently couldn't pronounce 'agape' right even if you threatened to steal his firstborn child, the narration was generally easy on the ears as well.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Excellent overview but glaring pronunciation flaw

Drs Dreyfus and Kelly pack a great deal of
Western philosophy and spirituality into this well written book.
It does help to have been an English major or at least a liberal arts graduate .
It is like taking your mind to the car wash as the authors pull you through the cleansing and invigorating review of the big brains of Western philosophy
One huge problem for me is that no one checked on the reader’ s continual mispronunciation of the Greek term for spiritual love “AGAPE” which is pronounced “ Ah-GOP -PAY “
Mr Drummond constantly pronounces it “ A -GAPE “as if these philosophers were staring at something rather than describing the Western sense of the Love of God shared with one’s community

May seem trivial but after the tenth mispronunciation I found myself yelling the correct pronunciation at the speaker !

Come on audible !!
Proof listen !!
Bob Hahn

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

would like to rec this book to everybody I know

Dreyfus & Kelly build their case for pantheism from th single speck of dust of a celebrated heroic act on a new York subway platform, and th speck gets "whooshed up" by an updraft into th upper atmosphere inhabited by th supercooled water droplets known as Moby Dick, Aeschylus, Homer, David Foster Wallace (& Roger Federer), Lou Gehrig, and Eat Pray Love -- building layers of icy clarity before hitting my car's windshield as gnocchi-sized hailstones in th climactic final chapter. A spectacular and shining read 🧚🏿🎇🔮

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

some much-needed wisdom

A great book with a great narrator, I was truly impressed at the moment which I found myself feeling a whole I did not know was there books essence. The message is great: well there is undeniable darkness world the shiny things remain shiny.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

I’m a fan of Hubert Dreyfus, so I was excited to listen to this book. I was frustrated with the performance, though, as the narrator mispronounced several words that any educated person should know — like “agape” when talking about agape love, or poesis, and other words. That said, the text of the book was great.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Dances around original ideas

Dull, predictable, completely lacking in any thought provoking ideas or originality. This book is just a string of pop-philosophy cliches.

If you're "spiritual but not religious", this book might help you find a clever story to tell about why you view the world in religious terms but don't want to believe in God like your parents did.