áAfter reading this book, I was, I must admit, sorely tempted to answer Camuss famous question in the affirmative. David Shields, author of Reality Hunger The question of how to lead a happy and meaningful life has been at the heart ofMoreáAfter reading this book, I was, I must admit, sorely tempted to answer Camuss famous question in the affirmative. David Shields, author of Reality Hunger 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 by self-help gurus, who frantically champion the individuals quest for self-expression, self-realization and well-being-the desire to become authentic.
Against these new age sophistries, How to Stop Living and Start Worrying tackles the question of áhow to live by forcing us to explore our troubling relationship with death. For Simon 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 áoriginary 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. In conversation with Carl Cederstrom, Critchley reflects on the work of more than 20 years to provide a unique, witty and erudite introduction to his thought. The book 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.