Item #17823 WHY CAN'T WE BE GOOD? Jacob Needleman.


New York: Tarcher / Penguin, 2007. First edition. 285 pages. Item #17823

Paperback in very good condition; Light marker streak on bottom page edges.

In Why Can't We Be Good? Needleman identifies the core problem that therapists and social philosophers fail to see. He depicts the individual human as a being who knows what is good, yet who remains mysteriously helpless to innerly adopt the ethical, moral, and religious ideas that are bequeathed to him.

In his jarring depiction of this most misunderstood of dilemmas, Needleman takes the reader through various settings and case studies: a college classroom, where students of all ages and backgrounds agonize to define goodness in an era marked by relativism and fundamentalism; a chilling psychological experiment from a generation earlier that reveals the capacity for brutality that lurks within us all-and our inability to see it; ancient stories from Rabbinic Judaism and mystical Christianity where, possibly, esoteric schools have left fragments of their own deep inner understanding of humanity's predicament and how to begin addressing it; and the words of Socrates, which lay bare the problems of the human psyche while hinting at a missing element that would serve to instruct us not merely on that which is good, but on how to commence our own efforts toward becoming the kind of men and women we are capable of being.

Steely-eyed, yet hopeful, Needleman provides ideas, and even exercises, that can start to show us the largeness of this problem-the problem of our inability to be good-and the precious early steps toward struggling with it. Here is one of the great philosophical considerations of our era, crafted in a manner that speaks to the needs of every sensitive person.

Price: $9.00