At the Existentialist Cafe

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At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails
AuthorSarah Bakewell
IllustratorAndreas Gurewich
CountryUnited States
PublisherOther Press
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback)

At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails is a 2016 book written by Sarah Bakewell that covers the philosophy and history of the 20th century movement existentialism.[1] The book provides a very accurate account of the modern day existentialists who came into their own before and during the second world war. The book discusses the ideas of the phenomenologist Edmund Husserl, and how his teaching influenced the rise of existentialism through the likes of Martin Heidegger, Jean Paul Sartre, Simone De Beauvoir, who are the main protagonists of the book. In fact, the beginning itself piques the interest of the reader in a unique manner, whereby Sartre's close friend and fellow philosopher Raymond Aron startles him when they are sitting in a cafe, by pointing to the glass in front of him and stating, "You can make a philosophy out of this cocktail."


Bakewell structures At the Existentialist Cafe by focusing each chapter on a particular philosopher or period within the existentialist movement, starting by introducing the early existentialists Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky and Kafka, and then moving onto the lives and philosophies of Heidegger, Husserl, Sartre, Beauvoir, Camus, Karl Jaspers, and Merleau-Ponty.



  1. ^ Bakewell, Sarah (2016). At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails (1st ed.). New York, New York: Other Books. |access-date= requires |url= (help)

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