Simon Critchley quotes

  • I have argued that philosophy doesn't begin in wonder or in the fact that things are, it begins in a realization that things are not what they might be. It begins with a sense of a lack, of something missing, and that provokes a series of questions.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Philosophy #Missing #Realization

  • It is so ridiculous to limit oneself to one version of the truth.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Limits #Ridiculous #Oneself

  • Humour is human. Why? Well, because the Philosopher, Aristotle, says so.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Philosopher #Humour #Wells

  • The only answer to the question of the meaning of life has to begin from the fact of our human finitude, of our vulnerability and our fallibility.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Meaning Of Life #Answers #Facts

  • Just to say "Well, God is dead" in one breath is to say, in another, that nothing means anything. This is the moment of nihilism. Nihilism is the affirmation of meaninglessness.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Mean #Nihilism #Affirmation

  • That is to say, politics is essentially about the management of fear, an economy of fear, continually adjusting the level of fear to produce the right level of affect in the citizenry.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Levels #Adjusting #Management

  • The philosopher is someone who doesn't know, but who wants to find out.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Want #Philosopher #Knows

  • If the denial of death is self-hatred, as it is to deny our freedom and live in fear of death (which is to say, to live in a form of bondage), then the acceptance and affirmation of death is indeed a form of self-love. But I'd want to make a distinction between a form of self-love which is essential to what it means to be human, and a narcissism of self-regard, like Rousseau's distinction between amour de soi and amour propre, self-love and pride.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Mean #Pride #Acceptance

  • It's complicated. On the one hand we're killer apes, and on the other hand we have this metaphysical longing.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Hands #Killers #Apes

  • I've always been very keen on Pascal, and what I'm most keen on in Pascal is his emphasis upon human wretchedness. He has a phrase which goes something like 'Anxiety, boredom and inconstancy, that is the human condition' and I've always been very partial to that.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Boredom #Anxiety #Phrases

  • For me philosophy begins with these experiences of disappointment: a disappointment at the level of what I would think of as "meaning," namely that, given that there is no God, what is the meaning of life? And, given that we live in an unjust world, how are we to bring about justice?
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Disappointment #Philosophy #Thinking

  • Genuinely great humour recognises the world it's describing and yet we are also called into question by it. That's what great art should do. That's what great philosophy should do. The one thing about humour is that this is an everyday practice that does this.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Art #Philosophy #Practice

  • I think that when people are at their best, when they are thinking, reflecting, cogitating, then they are doing philosophy. So I don't see philosophy as an academic enterprise.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Philosophy #Thinking #People

  • Peace is nothing more than the regulation of the psycho-political economy of awe and reverential fear, of using the threat of terror in order to bind citizens to the circuit of their subjection.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Order #Political #Citizens

  • Philosophy isn't programmed into us, and a lot of the forces of our culture steadfastly work against it. Philosophy, for me, is a way of resisting the nihilism of the present by making, creating, affirming. By going on.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Philosophy #Creating #Nihilism

  • When the animal becomes human, the effect is pleasingly benign and we laugh outloud, "Okay come clean now. This isn't really about hunting, is it?" But when the human becomes animal, the effect is disgusting, and if we laugh at all, then it is what Beckett calls the "mirthless laugh", which laughs at that which is unhappy.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Animal #Hunting #Laughing

  • Philosophy is the art of dying.Philosophy is an activity that has always been concerned with how one seizes hold of one's mortality, and I see myself continuing a very ancient tradition that goes back to Socrates and Epicurus, which is that to be a philosopher is to try and learn how to die. In learning how to die, one learns how to live.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Art #Philosophy #Dying

  • We might even define the human as a dynamic process produced by a series of identifications and misidentifications with animality.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Might #Identification #Process

  • Obama dreams of a society without power relations, without the agonism that constitutes political life. Against such a position one might assert that justice is always an agon, a conflict, and to refuse this assertion is to consign human beings to wallow in some emotional, fusional balm.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Dream #Emotional #Justice

  • The other side of my work is political disappointment - the realization that we are living in an unjust world. "Blood is being spilled in the merriest way, as if it was champagne," Dostoevsky says. That raises the problem of justice, what it might mean in an unjust world and whether there can be an ethics and a political practice that would be able to face and face down the injustice of the present. How might we begin to think about that?
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Disappointment #Mean #Thinking

  • The influence of being in New York, made me realize a lot of the ethical and political ideas I want to push or promote are best articulated within an anarchist program.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #New York #Ideas #Political

  • We must believe, but we can't believe. Perhaps this is the tragedy that some of us see in Obama: a change we can believe in and the crushing realisation that nothing will change.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Crush #Believe #Tragedy

  • My favourite writer is Beckett and I keep going back to wallow in his work like a deep pool of dark humour or like an oxygen tank when you can't breath in a world consumed by piety, hypocrisy and self-satisfaction.
    -- Simon Critchley

    #Dark #Self #Oxygen