Simon Critchley

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Simon Critchley
Born (1960-02-27) 27 February 1960 (age 55)
Hertfordshire,[1] England
Era 21st-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Continental Philosophy
Main interests
Politics, ethics, post-religion, aesthetics

Simon Critchley (born 27 February 1960) is an English philosopher. He writes about the history of philosophy, political theory, religion, ethics, aesthetics, literature and theatre.[2] He studied philosophy and has held visiting professorship at numerous universities. He has authored many books, and his work has been acknowledged. He argues that religious disappointment raises the question of meaning and has to, as he sees it, deal with the problem of nihilism; political disappointment provokes the question of justice and raises the need for a coherent ethics.

Early life and education[edit]

Critchley was born on 27 February 1960 in Hertfordshire, England. He studied philosophy and received B.A degree from the University of Essex in 1985 and PhD in 1988. He obtained his M.Phil at the University of Nice in 1987. Critchley was appointed a lecturer in philosophy at Essex in 1989, becoming reader in philosophy in 1995, and professor in 1999. Since 2004 Critchley has been professor of philosophy at the New School for Social Research.[3] He held the chair in philosophy at the New School from 2008–2011 and became the Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy in 2011.

He has held visiting professorships at numerous universities, including Sydney (2000), Notre Dame (2002), Cardozo Law School (2005) and at the University of Oslo (2006). In 2009 he was appointed a part-time professor of philosophy at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, where he runs a summer school[4] and teaches in philosophy and liberal arts. Critchley is also a professor of philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.[5]

Selected works[edit]

Critchley’s early work includes The Ethics of Deconstruction: Derrida and Levinas (Blackwell, 1992) and Very Little... Almost Nothing (Routledge, 1997), which focuses on the relation between philosophy and literature and the problem of nihilism. A collection of essays released in 1999, Ethics-Politics-Subjectivity (Verso, 1999), brings together Critchley's debate with Richard Rorty, as well as series of essays on Derrida, Levinas, Jacques Lacan, and Jean-Luc Nancy. [6] "Infinitely Demanding" was the topic of a special issue of the journal Critical Horizons (August 2009).[7] [8] [9]

Other work[edit]

The Stone is an opinion series in The New York Times, moderated by Critchley, that features the writings of contemporary philosophers on issues that include art, war, ethics, gender and popular culture.[10][11] [12][13][14][15][16][17][18]

In an essay series for the British newspaper The Guardian, Critchley explores Martin Heidegger's magnum opus, Being and Time.[19]


  • (1992, 1999, 2014) The Ethics of Deconstruction: Derrida and Levinas, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0748689323
  • (1997) Very Little... Almost Nothing: Death, Philosophy, Literature, Routledge, London & New York (2nd Edition, 2004). ISBN 978-0415340496
  • (1999) Ethics-Politics-Subjectivity: Essays on Derrida, Levinas, and Contemporary French Thought, Verso, London (Reissued, 2007). ISBN 978-1844673513
  • (2001) Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0192853592
  • (2002) On Humour, Routledge, London ISBN 978-0415251211.
  • (2005) On the Human Condition, with Dominique Janicaud & Eileen Brennan, Routledge, London. ISBN 978-0415327961
  • (2005) Things Merely Are: Philosophy in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens, Routledge, London. ISBN 978-0415356312
  • (2007) Infinitely Demanding. Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance, Verso, London & New York. ISBN 978-1781680179
  • (2008) The Book of Dead Philosophers, Granta Books, London; Vintage, New York; Melbourne University Press, Melbourne. ISBN 978-0307390431
  • (2008) On Heidegger’s ‘Being and Time’, with Reiner Schürmann, edited by Steven Levine, Routledge, London and New York. ISBN 978-0415775960
  • (2008) Der Katechismus des Bürgers, Diaphanes Verlag, Berlin. ISBN 978-3037340325
  • (2008) Democracy and Disappointment: On the Politics of Resistance (DVD) – Alain Badiou and Simon Critchley in Conversation, Slought Books, Philadelphia ASIN: B001AXTZIO
  • (2010) How to Stop Living and Start Worrying, Polity Press ISBN 978-0745650395.
  • (2011) Impossible Objects, Polity Press ISBN 978-0745653211.
  • (2011) International Necronautical Society: Offizielle Mitteilungen
  • (2012) The Mattering of Matter. Documents from the Archive of the International Necronautical Society, with Tom McCarthy, Sternberg Press, Berlin. ISBN 978-3943365344
  • (2012) The Faith of the Faithless, Verso. ISBN 978-1781681688
  • (2013) Stay, Illusion! The Hamlet Doctrine, Pantheon (North America); Verso (Europe). ISBN 978-0307950482
  • (2014) Memory Theatre, Fitzcarraldo Editions (UK). ISBN 978-0992974718
  • (2014) Bowie, OR Books. ISBN 978-1939293541
  • (2015) Suicide, Thought Catalog/Kindle Single. ASIN: B00YB0UZDC
  • (2015) Notes on Suicide, Fitzcarraldo Editions (UK). ISBN 978-1910695067
  • (2015) The Problem With Levinas, Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198738763
  • (2015) ABC of Impossibility, Univocal. ISBN 978-1937561499

As (co)editor

  • (1991) Re-Reading Levinas, ed. with Robert Bernasconi, Indiana University Press, Bloomington. ISBN 978-0253206244
  • (1996) Deconstructive Subjectivities, ed. with Peter Dews, State University of New York Press, Ithaca, NY. ISBN 978-0791427248
  • (1996) Emmanuel Levinas: Basic Philosophical Writings, ed. with Adriaan T. Peperzak and Robert Bernasconi, Indiana University Press, Bloomington. ISBN 978-0253210791
  • (1998) A Companion to Continental Philosophy, ed. with William J. Schroeder, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford. ISBN 978-0631190134
  • (2002) The Cambridge Companion to Levinas, ed. with Robert Bernasconi, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521665650
  • (2004) Laclau, A Critical Reader, ed. with Oliver Marchart, Routledge, London. ISBN 978-0415238441


  1. ^ "Simon Critchley's top 10 philosophers' deaths" at (Wednesday 11 June 2008)
  2. ^ "simon-critchley". simon-critchley. Retrieved 2015-09-16. 
  3. ^ "Simon Critchley". The New School in New York City. 
  4. ^ "About the Summer School". Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Simon Critchley – Professor of Philosophy – Biography". 
  6. ^ Žižek, Slavoj (2007-11-15). "Resistance Is Surrender". London Review of Books. p. 7. ISSN 0260-9592. Retrieved 2015-09-14. 
  7. ^ "Critical Horizons: Special Issue on Simon Critchley’s Neo-Anarchism". Continental Philosophy. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Violent Thoughts About Slavoj Zizek". 
  10. ^ "The Stone". The New York Times
  11. ^ Critchley, Simon. "What Is a Philosopher?". Retrieved 2015-09-14. 
  12. ^ Critchley, Simon. "Euro Blind". Retrieved 2015-09-14. 
  13. ^ Critchley, Simon. "Philip K. Dick, Sci-Fi Philosopher, Part 1". Retrieved 2015-09-14. 
  14. ^ Critchley, Simon. "Why I Love Mormonism". Retrieved 2015-09-14. 
  15. ^ Joseph Walker (20 September 2012). "Mormonism: The last acceptable prejudice?". 
  16. ^ Critchley, Simon. "The Freedom of Faith: A Christmas Sermon". Retrieved 2015-09-14. 
  17. ^ Critchley, Simon (2013-04-13). "The Trauma of the Pink Shirt". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-09-14. 
  18. ^ Webster, Simon Critchley and Jamieson. "The Gospel According to 'Me'". Retrieved 2015-09-14. 
  19. ^ "Being and Time, part 1: Why Heidegger matters Simon Critchley". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-10-02. 

External links[edit]