The Ethics of Awesomeness

Allen Klein (author of The Awe Factor) joins Philosophy Talk in explaining the pathway to spotting and sharing AWE-someness.

What Is It

The word “awesome” once meant inspiring extreme fear or dread. Nowadays it’s mostly used as a general purpose exclamation of approval. So when we describe a person as awesome, are we saying that they exemplify some general form of excellence? Or are awesome people those who break specific social norms to generate moments of creative expression and social connection? Would the world be a better place if we all aimed to be more awesome and less sucky? Josh and Ray stand in awe of Nick Riggle from the University of San Diego, author of On Being Awesome: A Unified Theory of How Not to Suck.


The Awe Factor

How a Little Bit of Wonder Can Make a Big Difference in Your Life

Exploring the human ability to be in awe. What does it mean to be awestruck? Or more simply, what is awe? Backed by the latest scientific research, Klein sets out to define awe and its effects on health and happiness. For example, over the past dozen years, or so, scientists have found, among other things, that awe:

  • Connects us to others
  • Lowers our stress levels
  • Enhances positive emotions
  • Increases our compassion
  • Increases our creativity

Plenty of reasons to be in awe. With a sprinkling of the spiritual and scientific, The Awe Factor takes readers on an exploration of a human phenomenon. From research to first-hand awe-inspiring stories, Klein reflects on feelings of awe, meaning and purpose. And with bonus awe-awakening tools, tips, and techniques, he helps readers become more aware of, and increase, the awe and wonder in their life.

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