×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Wisdom of the Myths: How Greek Mythology Can Change Your Life
     

The Wisdom of the Myths: How Greek Mythology Can Change Your Life

5.0 3
by Luc Ferry
 

See All Formats & Editions

More than 100,000 copies sold in France

A fascinating new journey through Greek mythology that explains the myths' timeless lessons and meaning

Heroes, gods, and mortals. The Greek myths are the founding narratives of Western civilization: to understand them is to know the origins of philosophy, literature, art, science, law, and more. Indeed, as Luc

Overview

More than 100,000 copies sold in France

A fascinating new journey through Greek mythology that explains the myths' timeless lessons and meaning

Heroes, gods, and mortals. The Greek myths are the founding narratives of Western civilization: to understand them is to know the origins of philosophy, literature, art, science, law, and more. Indeed, as Luc Ferry shows in this masterful book, they remain a great store of wisdom, as relevant to our lives today as ever before. No mere legends or clichés ("Herculean task," "Pandora's box," "Achilles heel," etc.), these classic stories offer profound and manifold lessons, providing the first sustained attempt to answer fundamental human questions concerning "the good life," the burden of mortality, and how to find one's place in the world. Vividly retelling the great tales of mythology and illuminating fresh new ways of understanding them, The Wisdom of the Myths will enlighten readers of all ages.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/04/2013
This comprehensive analysis of Greek myth seeks to uncover the basic worldview that lies behind such varied and disparate stories, and allusions such as “a Herculean task” and “Pandora’s box.” In this, Ferry (A Brief History of Thought), a professor of philosophy at the Sorbonne, is surprisingly successful: time and again he proves that “wisdom consists of finding our natural place in a divine and everlasting order.” Those who fight to uphold this divine order—Theseus, Heracles—are rewarded with a heroic legacy. But those who go against the natural order—even unwittingly, like Oedipus—are swiftly and brutally struck down. Ferry excuses much of what modern readers might perceive as injustice on the part of the gods. When Apollo flays a satyr who challenges him to a musical contest, for example, it is not vanity but the literal triumph of harmony over discord. Despite his claim that “I recount the legends as if to an audience of children,” Ferry’s narration proves long-winded and repetitive. However, he never loses sight of his central argument, and despite the pedantic tone, the breadth of evidence will sway most readers. (Jan.)
Boston Globe
“A marvelously wise and expansive book. ... Ferry writes with warmth, wit, and energy; one could call his prose conversational, but it’s rare to have a conversation quite this wonderful.”
Le Monde (France)
“With Luc Ferry as a guide, our passage through the storied landscape of Greek mythology becomes a captivating lesson in philosophy.”
Wall Street Journal
“Ferry’s charm as a teacher bursts through on every page.”
Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-20
Ferry (Philosophy/Sorbonne; A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living, 2011, etc.) brilliantly illustrates the basis of Greek philosophy in the structure of its myths. "Mythology is at the core of ancient wisdom," writes the author, "the foundation for that great edifice of Greek philosophy that would subsequently sketch out, in conceptual form, the blueprint of a successful life for human kind, mortal as we are." His retelling of Greek myths is impressive, and his true gift is his exploration of all the poets, including, but not limited to, Homer, Appollodorus, Ovid, Nonnus and Pindar, all of who have added to these myths. The cosmic order evolved from chaos to the cosmos. The myths explore the creation of the universe and of man, how man fits into the greater order and what happens to those who defy the gods out of hubris, as well as those who fight to maintain that order. The first four gods, Chaos, Eros, Gaia and Tartarus, are not individuals but forces of nature. The stories of the clashes of their children show the need for justice and order, accord and identity. Thus, his hubris in defying the gods shows the underlying truth. You cannot have harmony without discord; you cannot have life without death. The philosophical messages of the myths are the harmonious order of things: justice, or the agreement with order, and hubris, or the resistance to order. The author shows that Greek myths explore life beyond theology, thus giving birth to philosophy. The most important legacy of the myths is the essential question of how to achieve a good life. A worthy, fun way to enjoy ancient myths while learning some pure philosophy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062215451
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/07/2014
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
375,214
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.93(d)

Meet the Author

Luc Ferry is a philosopher and the author of the national bestseller A Brief History of Thought. From 2002 to 2004 he served as France's minister of national education. He has been awarded the Prix Médicis, Prix Jean-Jacques-Rousseau, and Prix Aujourd'hui, in addition to being an officer of the French Legion of Honor and a knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. He lives in Paris.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Wisdom of the Myths: How Greek Mythology Can Change Your Life 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Mike0411 More than 1 year ago
Great Book !
Manirul More than 1 year ago
Awesome....! Awful..!