Ethics for Jessica

Ethics for Jessica

by Gayle Graham Yates


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Ethics for Jessica by Gayle Graham Yates

Jessica's grandmother writes from her loft at her Wisconsin lakeside cottage of the intangibles she wants to give to Jessica and her generation. Writing in view of the red pines and birch trees, the water and the light, with the sound of loons in the distance, Gayle Graham Yates reflects upon insights, knowledge, and stories she has learned. A woman, family member, citizen, environmentalist, and spiritual seeker, Yates considers in this memoir-as-letter-to-her-granddaughter both distresses and joys, people, opportunities, and education that have shaped her own life and that she wants to pass along.
The flow of the book is metaphorically seasonal from autumn through summer. Moving through ethical frameworks drawn from Aristotle's ethics and the Ojibway narrative by Ignatia Broker, Night Flying Woman, the chapters develop sequentially through ways of learning, ways of loving, and ways of hoping. All this is to the end of lovingly transmitting to her granddaughter what she knows.

""Which of us would not want a written testimony from our grandmothers about their lives and values, and which of us of grandparent age would not wish to write one (but rarely get around to it!) as part of our legacy? In Ethics for Jessica, Gayle Graham Yates . . . decants a lifetime of wisdom and experience: all she holds dear that she wants to pass on. And in all her words, it's the love that comes through most powerfully. Readers do not have to be her granddaughter to glean from these pages guidance, vision, strength, delight, and edification to enhance the course of their own lives.""
--Susan Deborah King, author of Tabernacle, Coven, and One-Breasted Woman

""In this book, Gayle Graham Yates skillfully interweaves storytelling with finely crafted writing about the natural world and reflections about how to live an ethical life. Listening to her voice and entering into her imagery, a sense of urgency emerges. What we pass on to the next few generations will make all the difference to our individual and collective future.""
--Deborah J. Haynes, author of Book of This Place: The Land, Art, and Spirituality

Gayle Graham Yates is Professor Emerita of American Studies at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She is the author of What Women Want: The Ideas of the Movement, Mississippi Mind: A Personal Cultural History of an American State, and Life and Death in a Small Southern Town: Memories of Shubuta, Mississippi.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498254823
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 11/25/2009
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface xi

Introduction xiii

Part I Living, Learning, and Doing Nothing 1

1 Living Well 3

2 Love Is Born, Love Lives On 7

3 Gold Standard of Love 10

4 Ways of Learning 18

5 Aristotle and the Ojibway 25

6 On Doing Nothing 39

7 Knowing, Loving, and Hoping 45

Part II On Learning 53

8 Goodness as Both Intellectual and Moral Excellence 55

9 Learning 62

10 Knowing Science and Knowing Art 75

11 Architecture as Both Science and Art 78

12 Science, Acid Rain, Radioactive Fallout, Wetlands, and Global Warming: the Life Work of Eville Gorham 89

13 The Museum of Modern Art 97

14 Truthtelling 102

15 Knowing the Earth and Knowing the World 114

16 Moving from Knowledge to Wisdom 125

Part III On Loving 133

17 Loving Yourself and Loving Other People 135

18 Features of Love 148

19 Family Love 159

20 Romantic Love 166

21 Friendship 174

22 Loving the Earth and Loving the World 179

Part IV On Hoping 189

23 Light and Love 191

24 Taking Responsibility 200

25 Living Well 209

26 Hopefulness 216

Epigraph Sources 221

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