Books

My recent book, Ethical Excellence, draws on ancient wisdom, modern psychology, and stories from my own interviews with real-life ethical exemplars–people who have won (inter)national awards for the awesome things they’ve done for others.

Here are some reviews of Ethical Excellence:

“Offers a novel approach by bringing together two wisdom traditions, contemporary psychological research on character development, and the stories of real-life exemplars in order to give helpful advice on how to become virtuous…shows what can be gained by making philosophy more personal.”—David McPherson, Creighton University

“In Ethical Excellence, Heidi Geibel succeeds brilliantly at the challenging task of weaving together ancient philosophical insight from East and West, modern psychological research, and stories from the lives of exemplary individuals. Each strand of the book expands on and reinforces the others. Confucians fill out gaps in Socratic theory and vice versa; psychologists test, tweak, and confirm ancient theories; and contemporary lives give richness and realism to the ideals. The whole tapestry, conveyed in Geibel’s lovely, accessible prose, is nothing short of a master class in how to cultivate a better, more meaningful life for oneself and all those for whom one cares.”—Stephen C. Angle, Wesleyan University

“In this wonderful book, Professor Heidi Giebel gives us a unique and compelling account of how to pursue a life of ethical excellence. Rooted in the philosophical thought found in the Socratic and Confucian traditions, empirically informed, and offering informative and inspirational stories of real-life moral exemplars, Giebel’s book will not only be of interest to scholars and students but will also be practically useful to anyone who seeks ethical excellence and who wants to help foster it in others. This is moral philosophy as it ought to be done, for the sake of cultivating virtue and human flourishing.”—Michael W. Austin, Eastern Kentucky University

“Not all that interested in becoming a better person? Read this book and you just might change your mind! Giebel weaves stories of real people together with a rich and accessible discussion of moral philosophy and psychology. The result is a wise, charming, practical, and entertaining account of what moral excellence is and how we all can move toward it. This book offers not only clarity of understanding but more fulfilled lives and deeper happiness—for ourselves and for our children, students, and fellow citizens.”—Anne Colby, author of The Power of Ideals: The Real Story of Moral Choice

Ethical Excellence offers a novel approach by bringing together two great wisdom traditions (namely, Socratic and Confucian traditions), contemporary psychological research on character development, and the stories of real-life exemplars in order to give helpful advice on how to become more virtuous. Giebel also demonstrates what can be gained by making philosophy more personal.”—David McPherson, author of Virtue and Meaning: A Neo-Aristotelian Perspective

Ethical Excellence is an amazing achievement. Drawing on ancient Greek and Confucian philosophy, contemporary psychology, interviews with sixteen living exemplars, and her own lived experience, Heidi Giebel takes us on a fascinating tour of the virtues and what it is to live a life of excellence. Highly recommended!”—Christian Miller, Wake Forest University and Director of the Honesty Project

My earlier edited collection, The Things That Matter, is a set of 20 essays (each by a different writer) inspired by the work of philosopher Jacques Maritain.

Here is a description of The Things That Matter.

I’ve also contributed chapters to others’ edited books, including Mike Austin’s Virtues in Action.