Listening, Thinking, Being: Toward an Ethics of Attunement

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Although listening is central to human interaction, its importance is often ignored. In the rush to speak and be heard, it is easy to neglect listening and disregard its significance as a way of being with others and the world. Drawing upon insights from phenomenology, linguistics, philosophy of communication, and ethics, Listening, Thinking, Being is both an invitation and an intervention meant to turn much of what readers know, or think they know, about language, communication, and listening inside out. It is not about how to be a good listener or the numerous pitfalls that stem from the failure to listen. Rather, the purpose of the book is, first, to make readers aware of the value and importance of listening as a fundamental human ability inextricably connected with language and thought; second, to alert readers to the complexity of listening from personal, cultural, and philosophical perspectives; and third, to offer readers a way to think of listening as a mode of communicative action by which humans create and abide in the world. Lisbeth Lipari brings together historical, literary, intercultural, scientific, musical, and philosophical perspectives, as well as a range of her own personal experiences, to produce this highly readable analysis of how the human experience of being as an ethical relation with others . . . is enacted by means of listening.