In this substantially revised edition of Ego and Soul, John Carroll examines the battlegrounds across which a struggle for meaning is being fought -- including work, sport, intimacy, the university, shopping, tourism, computers, democracy, and a retreat into nature.
On the one side, depressive pessimism, rancour, and disenchantment have arisen, accompanied by rampant consumerism. The upper-middle-class elites, with their high culture, have lost their way.
On the other side, much of what people still do disguises a search for meaning.
Groping unconsciously for direction, inhabitants of the modern West are even, in their ordinary and everyday lives, casting lines into the transcendent in the hope of a catch.
And there is success.
Ego and Soul offers a surprising and compelling new look at the way we live today, and the way we try to make sense of our lives- gleebooks
John Carroll is a professor in the department of sociology at La Trobe University, who gained his PhD at Cambridge.
He has written extensively on themes social and spiritual, most famously in his books Terror - a Meditation on the Meaning of September 11 and The Wreck of Western Culture - Humanism Revisited.
Clive Hamilton is an Australian author and public intellectual. In June 2008 he was appointed Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, a joint centre of the Australian National University, Charles Sturt University and the University of Melbourne.
For 14 years, until February 2008, he was the executive director of The Australia Institute, a progressive think tank he founded. He holds an arts degree from the Australian National University (majoring in history, psychology and pure mathematics) and an economics degree from the University of Sydney (majoring in economics and government, with first class honours in the former). He completed a doctorate at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex with a thesis titled "Capitalist Industrialisation in Korea."
He has published on a wide range of subjects but is best known for his books, a number of which have been best-sellers. They include Growth Fetish (2003), Affluenza (with Richard Denniss, 2005), What's Left: The Death of Social Democracy (2006), Silencing Dissent (edited with Sarah Maddison, 2007) and Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change (2007). His latest book, titled The Freedom Paradox: Towards a Post-secular Ethics, was published by Allen & Unwin on 1 August 2008.
In June 2009 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to public debate and policy development, and in December 2009 he was the Greens candidate in the by-election for the federal seat of Higgins.