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How to Stop Living and Start Worrying: Conversations with Carl Cederström

By: Simon Critchley and Carl Cederström


Description

The question of how to lead a happy and meaningful life has been at the heart of philosophical debate since time immemorial. Today, however, these questions seem to be addressed not by philosophers but self-help gurus, who frantically champion the individual's quest for self-expression and self-realization; the desire to become authentic.

Against these new age sophistries, How to Stop Living and Start Worrying tackles the question of 'how to live' by forcing us to explore our troubling relationship with death. For Critchley, philosophy begins with the question of finitude and with his understanding of a key classical theme - that to philosophize is to learn how to die. Learning how to accept both our own and others' mortality as a part of life also raises the question of how to love. Critchley argues that the act of love requires us to give up something of ourselves, to lose control so as to be open to the demands of love. We will never be equal to this demand and so we are brought face to face with our own limitations - one form of which is what Critchley calls our 'originary inauthenticity'. By scrutinizing the very nature of humour, Critchley explores what we need to laugh at ourselves and presents the need to confront the inescapable ridiculousness of life.

Reflecting on the work of over 20 years, this book provides a unique, witty and erudite introduction to the thought of Simon Critchley. It includes a revealing biographical conversation with Critchley and a fascinating debate with the critically acclaimed novelist Tom McCarthy about the nature of authenticity. Taken together the conversations give an intimate portrait of one of the most lucid, provocative and engaging philosophers writing today.

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Hardcover
Status
Available
Edition
First Edition
ISBN
9780745650388
ISBN10
0745650384
Publication Dates ROW:
Sep 2010
Publication Dates US:
Oct 2010
Publication Dates Aus & NZ:
Sep 2010


Format
223 x 145 mm
8.75 x 5.70 in
Pages
224 pages
Paperback
Status
Available
Edition
First Edition
ISBN
9780745650395
ISBN10
0745650392
Publication Dates ROW:
Sep 2010
Publication Dates US:
Oct 2010
Publication Dates Aus & NZ:
Sep 2010



Format
218 x 140 mm
8.55 x 5.48 in
Pages
224 pages
E-book
Status
Available
Edition
First Edition
ISBN
9780745659596
ISBN10
0745659594
Publication Dates ROW:
Apr 2013
Publication Dates US:
Apr 2013
Publication Dates Aus & NZ:
Apr 2013


Format
229 x 152 mm
9.02 x 5.98 in
Pages
224 pages

* Exam copies only available to lecturers for whom the book may be suitable as a course text.
Please note: Sales representation and distribution for Polity titles is provided by John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

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Reviews

"An entertaining set of conversations with a bright star of philosophy."
Boyd Tonkin, The Independent

"The pages are stuffed with reminiscence and intriguing passing ideas as well as more arguments (of greater or lesser plausability) than most books twice the length. The intellectual register soars and plunges in a pleasing rhythm."
Steven Poole, The Guardian

"Apart from his charming autobiography, Critchley is remarkably adept at clearly explaining quite difficult ideas."
Nina Power, Philosophers' Magazine

"Carl Cederstrom's book of interviews with Simon Critchley, reminded me that I was not the only tinnitus-blighted Scouser to be fighting the good fight for 'Continental' philosophy!"
Mark Thwaite, Ready Steady Book

"An indispensable resource to anyone interested in Critchley's writing."
A Piece of Monologue 

"After reading this book, I was, I must admit, sorely tempted to answer Camus's famous question in the affirmative."
David Shields, author of Reality Hunger

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Table of Contents

Introduction vii

1 Life 1

2 Philosophy 27

3 Death 37

4 Love 60

5 Humour 77

6 Authenticity 102

Bibliography 123

Index 131

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Author Information

Simon Critchley is Professor of Philosophy at the New School University.

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