The Power of Meaning

Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness

The Power of Meaning

In a culture obsessed with happiness, this wise, stirring book points the way toward a richer, more satisfying life. Too many of us believe that the search for meaning is an esoteric pursuit—that you have to travel to a distant monastery or page through dusty volumes to discover life’s secrets. The truth is, there are untapped sources of meaning all around us—right here, right now. To explore how we can craft lives of meaning, Emily Esfahani Smith synthesizes a kaleidoscopic array of sources—from psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, and neuroscientists to figures in literature and history such as George Eliot, Viktor Frankl, Aristotle, and the Buddha. Drawing on this research, Smith shows us how cultivating connections to others, identifying and working toward a purpose, telling stories about our place in the world, and seeking out mystery can immeasurably deepen our lives. To bring what she calls the four pillars of meaning to life, Smith visits a tight-knit fishing village in the Chesapeake Bay, stargazes in West Texas, attends a dinner where young people gather to share their experiences of profound loss, and more. She also introduces us to compelling seekers of meaning—from the drug kingpin who finds his purpose in helping people get fit to the artist who draws on her Hindu upbringing to create arresting photographs. And she explores how we might begin to build a culture that leaves space for introspection and awe, cultivates a sense of community, and imbues our lives with meaning. Inspiring and story-driven, The Power of Meaning will strike a profound chord in anyone seeking a life that matters.

Summary

The Power of Meaning Book Summary - Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness - Crafting a Life that Matters.

Summary

The Power of Meaning Book Summary - Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness - Crafting a life that matters. Have you ever wondered how to live a peaceful life? Most of us think the goal of life is to be "happy," but this is a fleeting state destined to change. "When I change jobs, I'll be happy," "After I get my new car, everything will be great," "Once I'm married, I'll live happily ever after." These ideas keep pushing us forward, searching for things we don't have. Instead, we should find purpose and enjoy what we have accomplished. If you long to build a meaningful life and quit the constant chase of "happiness," then this summary is for you! Why read this summary: Save time Understand the key concepts Notice: This is a THE POWER OF MEANING Book Summary. Emily Esfahani Smith Book. NOT THE ORIGINAL BOOK.

The Power of Dialogue

Critical Hermeneutics After Gadamer and Foucault

The Power of Dialogue

At the book's core is the question of how social power shapes and influences meaning and how the process of interpretation, whileimplicated in social forms of power, can nevertheless achievereflective distance and a critique of power. Translated by Paul Hendrickson. Exemplifying a fruitful fusion of French and German approaches to social theory, The Power of Dialogue transforms Habermas's version of critical theory into a new "critical hermeneutics" that builds on both Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics and Foucault's studies of power and discourse. Kögler argues for a middle way between Gadamer's concept of interpretation as dialogue (which has been faulted for its strong focus on the agent's own self-understanding) and Foucault's conceptualization of the structure of discourse and the practices of power (which has been faulted for neglecting the role of individual subjectivity and freedom in social interaction). At the book's core is the question of how social power shapes and influences meaning and how the process of interpretation, while implicated in social forms of power, can nevertheless achieve reflective distance and a critique of power. It offers an original perspective on such issues as the impact of prejudice and cultural background on scientific interpretation, the need to understand others without assimilating their otherness, and the "truth" of interpretation.

Jesus and the Quest for Meaning

Entering Theology

Jesus and the Quest for Meaning

A new approach to introducing theology As God's self-communication to humans, Jesus is the key to the human search for meaning, argues Thomas West. He therefore introduces the practice of theology through Christology. From the question of personal meaning and self-constitution and their relationship to transcendent meaning and value, he proceeds to discuss the figure and import of Jesus and then the ethical imperative engendered through encounter with him. Fresh and clear, West's book is an invitation to grapple with one's religious commitments, especially in light of recent insights in biblical studies and Continental, feminist, and liberation theologies. This new text will prove an engaging and effective introduction to theological thinking for both undergraduates and Christian adults.

The Power of International Theory

Reforging the Link to Foreign Policy-Making through Scientific Enquiry

The Power of International Theory

This new study challenges how we think about international relations, presenting an analysis of current trends and insights into new directions. It shows how the discipline of international relations was created with a purpose of helping policy-makers to build a more peaceful and just world. However, many of the current trends, post-positivism, constructivism, reflectivism, and post-modernism share a conception of international theory that is inherently incapable of offering significant guidance to policy-makers. The Power of International Theory critically examines these approaches and offers a novel conventional-causal alternative that allows the reforging of a link between IR theory and policy-making. While recognizing the criticisms of earlier forms of positivism and behaviouralism, the book defends holistic testing of empirical principles, methodological pluralism, criteria for choosing the best theory, a notion of 'causality,' and a limited form of prediction, all of which are needed to guide policy-makers. This is an essential book for all students and scholars of international relations.

The Power of Disturbance

Elsa Morante's Aracoeli

The Power of Disturbance

"The symposium on Elsa Morante at which the essays contained in this volume were first presented took place on 11-12 April 2008 at the Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICI) ... " -- Acknowledgments, p. [ix].

The Power of Myth

The Power of Myth

The national bestseller, now available in a non-illustrated, standard format paperback edition The Power of Myth launched an extraordinary resurgence of interest in Joseph Campbell and his work. A preeminent scholar, writer, and teacher, he has had a profound influence on millions of people--including Star Wars creator George Lucas. To Campbell, mythology was the “song of the universe, the music of the spheres.” With Bill Moyers, one of America’s most prominent journalists, as his thoughtful and engaging interviewer, The Power of Myth touches on subjects from modern marriage to virgin births, from Jesus to John Lennon, offering a brilliant combination of intelligence and wit. This extraordinary book reveals how the themes and symbols of ancient narratives continue to bring meaning to birth, death, love, and war. From stories of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome to traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, a broad array of themes are considered that together identify the universality of human experience across time and culture. An impeccable match of interviewer and subject, a timeless distillation of Campbell’s work, The Power of Myth continues to exert a profound influence on our culture. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Supernatural

Death, Meaning, and the Power of the Invisible World

Supernatural

Humans are existential animals. We are all fully aware of our fragility, transience, and potential cosmic insignificance. Our ability to ponder the big questions about death and meaning and the anxiety that these questions can provoke have motivated us to be a species not only concerned about survival, but also about our significance. The quest for transcendent meaning is one reason why humans embrace the supernatural. Children naturally see the world as magical, yet when humans reach full cognitive development they are still drawn to supernatural beliefs and ideas that defy the laws of physics. Even those who consider themselves secular or atheists are seduced by supernatural belief systems. Clay Routledge, an experimental psychologist, asserts that belief or trust in forces beyond our understanding is rooted in our fear of death and need for meaning. In Supernatural: Death, Meaning, and the Power of the Invisible World, he reveals just how universal supernatural thinking is, and how this kind of thinking is adaptive and even healthy. Routledge takes readers through a wide range of fascinating research from psychology that paints a picture of humans as innate supernatural thinkers. Exploring research from the emerging field of experimental existential psychology, he makes the case that all humans have the same underlying existential needs, with similar coping strategies across times, cultures, and degrees of religiousness. Surprisingly, cultural institutions such as sports, environmentalism, secular humanism, and science also showcase supernatural attributes and qualities. Indeed, studies show that supernatural thinking assuages stress and anxiety and improves mood and psychological well-being. But there is a potential dark side to this line of thinking: it can lead to personal and social problems, and some individuals can take it a step too far. However, Routledge argues that this dark side of supernatural thinking is the exception, not the rule. Further, supernatural thinking is ever-present, and should unite us instead of dividing us.

The Power of Analogy

An Essay on Historical Linguistics

The Power of Analogy

In The Power of Anology, Dieter Wanner argues for reinstating historical linguistics, especially in (morpho-)syntax, as constitutive of any theoretical account of language. In the first part, he provides a critique of some foundational concepts of an object-oriented linguistic perspective, questioning the distinction between synchrony and diachrony, dichotomous parametrization, grammaticality judgments, and formal generalization. Instead, the immanent perspective of the linguistic individual, licensed by broad cognitive functions, highlights such relegated dimensions as similarity, (surface) redundancy, frequency of form, and social and environmental conditions on language use. In the second part, Dieter Wanner relies on a systematic construct of analogy as the dynamic force enabling language, tying together acquisition, language use, and linguistic change. Such analogy is pervasive, driven by local models, and inevitably spreading through the social web of linguistic practice. The unpredictability, incompletion, and typical slowness of change thereby become the norm, while categorical closure remains a marked possibility. The framework of "Soft Syntax" spells out an operative model for syntax relying on precedence, cohesion, dependence, agreement, constructional identity, and concatenation. These six dimensions and their interplay undergo a detailed exploration of their diachronic operation and implications, applying them to typical examples taken from the history of the Romance languages. The openness of the framework enables diachronic linguistics to approach old problems in a new light and to ask new questions about the mechanics and nature of language change.