REVIEWS OF WISDOM BOOKS
- An Age of Progress?: Clashing Twentieth-Century Global
Forces by Walter G. Moss - Reviewed by Copthorne Macdonald
- Beyond Intellect: Journey Into the Wisdom of
Your Intuitive Mind by Susan
McNeal Velasquez - Reviewed by Copthorne Macdonald
- Creating Change Through Humanism by Roy Speckhardt - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont. Good Without God: This handbook for prospective humanists is an important resource for thoughtful people who are seeking real good. The book tells us what humanism is, why it makes sense, how it addresses real problems, and what we can do to create positive change.
- Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist by Christof Koch - Reviewed by Tom Lombardo. A valuable, up to date examination of the scientific and philosophical dimensions of understanding consciousness, free will, and the brain. Also, a revealing portrait of how the writer's scientific ideas and research have influenced his life.
- Cutting God in Half - And Putting the Pieces Together Again: A New Approach to Philosophy by Nicolas Maxwell - Reviewed by Copthorne Macdonald
- Educating for Wisdom and Compassion: Creating Conditions for Timeless Learning by John P. Miller - Reviewed by Copthorne Macdonald
- The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont
- Ethics and the Golden Rule by Harry Gensler - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont. An excellent, informative review concerning one of the most universal ethical principles across human cultures.
- Ethics and the Quest for Wisdom by Robert Kane - Reviewed by Walter G. Moss. Kane's book conveys valuable insights regarding how to live wisely in our modern age. This age he correctly maintains is characterized by uncertainty and pluralism. Does that mean, however, that we are stuck in a relativist universe where we must accept that one view is as good as another? Kane thinks not. He believes that we can still arrive at central, objective truths, both in our private lives and in the public sphere.
- The Evolution of Future Consiousness and Contemporary
Futurist Thought by Tom Lombardo - Reviewed by Copthorne Macdonald
- The Evolution of Well-Being and the Good - Part I: A Review of “In Search of Coherence: Sketching a Theory of Sustainable Well-Being” by Timo Hämäläinen - Reviewed by Tom Lombardo. Hämäläinen’s article is an informative and thought provoking review of the numerous global efforts to articulate and measure human well-being and implement social policies to enhance it in the world; it is an excellent review of theories and the pragmatics of well-being. With critical commentary, this review is the first of two parts on contemporary ideas on well-being, the good life, and those psychological and ethical capacities for realizing psychological and social well-being.
- The Evolution of Well-Being and the Good: Part II: A Review of “Happiness Donut: A Confucian Critique of Positive Psychology” by Louise Sundararajan - Reviewed by Tom Lombardo. Louise Sundararajan argues that Martin Seligman’s vision of positive psychology not only has a Western bias regarding what constitutes psychological well-being, but it is inconsistent in its stated understanding of the relationship between facts uncovered in positive psychological research and ethical thinking. A general discussion of the relationship between the psychology of well being and theories of the good life is included in the review.
- Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science's Greatest Idea by Carter Phipps - Reviewed by Tom Lombardo
- Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin Seligman - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont
- From Knowledge to Wisdom, 2nd Edition by Nicholas Maxwell - Reviewed by Jeff Huggins
- The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century by Sarah Leonard and Bhaskar Sunkara (Ed.) - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont. Born out of massive political discontent and the Occupy movement, the collection of ten essays in this timely book each characterizes an important social problem before suggesting a solution. In each case the suggested solution is a bold shift toward socialism.
- A God that Could be Real: Spirituality, Science, and the Future of Our Planet by Nancy Abrams - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont
- Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill by Matthieu Ricard - Review by Leland R. Beaumont
- The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin - Reviewed by Tom Lombardo
- Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being by Esther M. Sternberg, M.D. Reviewed by Leland Beaumont. Spaces affect healing and well-being. Medical Doctor Esther Sternberg examines the intersection of architecture and neuroscience—how spaces influence our minds and bodies—in this well-written and informative book.
- How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain: The New Science of Transformation by Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont. “The authors describe the phenomenon of enlightenment in a wide variety of forms, endeavor to examine the science of enlightenment, and then describe how you can attain enlightenment...the authors argue that ‘The ability to experience enlightenment, big or small, appears to be ‘wired’ into our brain and consciousness.’ “
- Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer - Reviewed by Tom Lombardo
- The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet by Ramez Naam - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont. If wisdom involves getting the big picture of things, then this book is wise, pulling together environmental, technological, demographic, and economic dimensions of our contemporary global reality. Further, again in resonance with the various capacities of wisdom, the book offers innovative and integrative solutions for our global challenges. Never underestimate the power of the mind.
- In Our Image: Humanity's Quest for Divinity via Technology by Debashis
Chowdhury - Reviewed by Copothorne Macdonald
- Leading with Wisdom - This book, reviewed here by Walter G. Moss, brings
together the perspectives of eight authors on how leaders lead "and
how wisdom (connected to spirituality) can result in a more integrated
and peaceful practice of leadership."
- Leaving Truth by Keith Sewell - Reviewed by Leland R. Beaumont
- Making Waves and Riding the Currents: Activism and
the Practice of Wisdom by Charles Halpern - Reviewed by Copthorne Macdonald
- The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, Champion Trees, and an Urgent Plan to Save the Planet by Jim Robbins - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont
- Matters of Consequence by Copthorne Macdonald - Reviewed by Tom Lombardo
- Meaning: The Secret of Being Alive by Cliff Havener - Reviewed by Copthorne Macdonald
- Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False by Thomas Nagel - Reviewed by Tom Lombardo - A thoughtful and thought-provoking short philosophy book on the challenge of explaining consciousness, rationality, and values within scientific theories of the evolution of the physical world.
- The Monk and the Philosopher: A Father and Son Discuss the Meaning of Life by Jean-Francois Revel and Matthieu Ricard - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont
- The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris and Flourish by Martin Seligman: A Comparative Review Reviewed by Tom Lombardo
- Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them by Joshua Greene - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont. This is the best book I have read in many years. It provides a new level of clarity on ethical reasoning and essential issues I have been curious about for a very long time.
- The Open-Focus Brain: Harnessing the Power of Attention to Heal Mind and Body by Les Fehmi and Jim Robbins - Reviewed by Copthorne Macdonald
- The Power of Collective Wisdom and the Trap of Collective Folly by Alan Briskin, Sheryl Erickson, John Ott, and Tom Callanan - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg - Reviewed by Tom Lombardo
- The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters by Emily Esfahani Smith - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont. As more people realize that religious dogma is not the path to meaningful lives we may be cast adrift, or we may seek effective paths toward meaning. Author Emily Esfahani Smith provides useful insights as we seek our own meaningful path through life.
- The Power to Transform: Leadership That Brings Learning and Schooling to Life by Stephanie Pace Marshall - Reviewed by Copthorne Macdonald
- Practical Wisdom by Barry Schwarz and Kenneth Sharpe - Reviewed by Walter G. Moss Practical wisdom is the variety
of wisdom that helps us deal with everyday life. (See also the
Barry Schwarz video on practical wisdom.)
- Preparing for a World that Doesn’t Exist - Yet by Rick Smyre and Neil Richardson - Reviewed by Tom Lombardo. For advocates of change and, in particular, wisdom writers who wish to see the future of humanity more centrally guided and informed by wisdom, this book is an important and valuable contribution and resource. For wisdom writers there is often a disconnect between the presentation of elevating ideas and their actual social impact and effective implementation. Smyre and Richardson's book is a guidance system for moving from idea to action and actual social change.
- Preparing for a World that Doesn’t Exist - Yet (Book Excerpt) by Rick Smyre and Neil Richardson. The Forward and Prologue to the book.
- Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet by Tim Jackson - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont
- Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change by Timothy Wilson - Reviewed by Tom Lombardo
- Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition by Charles Eisenstein - Reviewed by Lee Beaumont. This book is full of good ideas for transforming the obsolete elements of our economic systems into a truly modern economy. Author Charles Eisenstein begins this bold and well written book examining why innovation, labor saving devices, and all of the earth's bounty fail to deliver prosperity to most of the people.
- Spirit Matters: Global Healing and the Wisdom of the Soul by Michael Lerner - Reviewed by Copthorne Macdonald
- Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont. Summarizing 20 years of research on forecasting accuracy conducted from 1984 through 2004, Philip Tetlock concluded “the average expert was roughly as accurate as a dart-throwing chimpanzee.” This book describes what was learned as Tetlock set out to improve forecasting accuracy with the Good Judgement Project.
- A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science, and Spirituality by Ken Wilber - Reviewed by Copthorne Macdonald
- The Three Levels of Leadership: How to Develop Your Leadership Presence, Knowhow, and Skill by James Scouller - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont. A well-researched, deeply thought-out and clearly presented handbook for wise leadership. This book presents a robust model of leadership for the good, based on the concept of leadership presence, with self-mastery at its core.
- Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements by Tom Rath and Jim Harter - Reviewed by Lee Beaumont
- Why Does the World Exist? by Jim Holt - Reviewed by Tom Lombardo. A clear, informative, and philosophically engaging review and discussion of the ultimate ontological question: "Why is there something rather than nothing?"
- The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why it Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It. by Kelly McGonigal - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont
- Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney - Reviewed by Tom Lombardo
- Wisdom, Consciousness, and the Future by Tom Lombardo - Reviewed by Copthorne Macdonald
- Wisdom, Intuition, and Ethics by Trevor Curnow - Reviewed by Copthorne Macdonald
- Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter by Cass R. Sunstein and Reid Hastie - Reviewed by Lee Beaumont
- The Wisest One in the Room: How You Can Benefit from Social Psychology's Most Powerful Insights by Thomas Gilovich and Lee Ross - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont. Of the many definitions proposed for wisdom, perhaps the most intriguing is “seeing beyond illusion.” When most people are captivated by illusions, the wisest one in the room sees past them and proposes new solutions. The authors draw on recent research in social psychology, judgement, and decision making to help us become wiser.
- Whole Earth Discipline: Why Dense Cities, Nuclear Power, Transgenic Crops, Restored Wildlands, and Geoengineering Are Necessary by Stewart Brand - Reviewed by Leland Beaumont