region = Western Philosophy
era = 21st-century philosophy
color = #B0C4DE
name = Simon Critchley
birth = February 27, 1960 (England)
school_tradition = Phenomenology, Deconstruction
main_interests = Politics, Ethics, Post-Religion, Psychoanalysis, Aesthetics
influences = Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Levinas, Lacan, Derrida, Laclau, Nancy
Simon Critchley (born February 27, 1960) is an English philosopher now teaching in the U.S., who works in continental philosophy, history of philosophy, literature, ethics and politics.
Critchley studied philosophy at the University of Essex in England (BA 1985, PhD 1988) and at the University of Nice in France (M.Phil 1987). Among his teachers were Robert Bernasconi, Jay Bernstein, Frank Cioffi, Dominique Janicaud and Onora O’Neill.Critchley's M.Phil. thesis dealt with the problem of the overcoming of metaphysics in Heidegger and Carnap and his Ph.D. dissertation was on the ethics of deconstruction in Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida.
After a position as University Fellow at Cardiff University, Critchley was appointed Lecturer in Philosophy at Essex in 1989, where he became Reader in 1995 and Professor in 1999. Also at the University of Essex, he was Director of the Centre for Theoretical Studies and collaborated closely with Ernesto Laclau.
Critchley was President of the British Society for Phenomenology from 1994-99. In 1997 and 2001, he held a Humboldt Research Fellowship in Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt. Between 1998-2004, Critchley was a Programme Director of the Collège international de philosophie, Paris. In 2006-7, he was a Scholar at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. [ [http://www.getty.edu/news/press/center/gri_scholars_program_release091206.html Religion and ritual drives scholarly pursuits for 2006-2007 academic year at the Getty Research Institute.] September 12, 2006. Retrieved August 27, 2008.] Since 2004 he has been Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research, New York. In addition, he has held visiting professorships at Nijmegen (1997), the Universities of Sydney (2000), Notre Dame (2002), Cardozo Law School in New York (2005), and Oslo (2006). From 2009, he will be part-time Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tilburg.
The Ethics of Deconstruction (1992)
Critchley’s first book was "The Ethics of Deconstruction: Derrida and Levinas" (Blackwell, 1992), which became an acclaimed source on deconstruction and was the first book to argue for an ethical dimension to deconstruction. A second expanded edition was published in 1999 by Edinburgh University Press. Rather than being concerned with deconstruction in terms of the contradictions inherent in any text — an approach typical of the early Derrida and those in literary criticism aiming to extract a critical method for an application to literature — Critchley concerns himself with the philosophical context necessary for an understanding of the ethics of deconstructive reading.
Far from being some sort of value-free nihilism or textual free-play, Critchley showed the ethical impetus that was driving Derrida’s work. His claim was that Derrida’s understanding of ethics has to be understood in relation to his engagement with the work of Levinas and the book attempts to lay out the details of their philosophical confrontation in detail.
Very Little... Almost Nothing (1997)
Critchley’s second book, "Very Little... Almost Nothing" (Routledge, 1997) develops in a very different direction and shows his concern with the relation between philosophy and literature and the problem of nihilism. Widely read and reviewed, a second edition with additional material and a new preface was published in 2004.
At the centre of "Very Little... Almost Nothing" is the problem of the meaning of life and what sense can be made of this problem in the absence of any religious belief. By way of a series of ‘lectures’ on Maurice Blanchot, Samuel Beckett, Stanley Cavell and romanticism, Critchley argues for a conception of meaninglessness understood as the achievement of the everyday, a view which, he thinks, redeems us from the need for religious redemption.
Critchley argues that philosophy begins in disappointment, either religious or political. In many ways, these two axes of disappointment organize his published work. Religious disappointment raises the question of meaning and has to deal with the problem of nihilism. Political disappointment provokes the question of justice and raises the need for an ethics.
"Ethics-Politics-Subjectivity" (Verso, 1999) is a collection of essays that includes his much-discussed debate with Richard Rorty, as well a series of essays on Derrida, Levinas, Jacques Lacan, Jean-Luc Nancy. These essays also show an increasingly political and psychoanalytic turn to Critchley’s thinking. A new edition will appear in Verso’s Radical Thinkers series.
Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (2001)
In "Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction" (Oxford University Press, 2001) Critchley addresses the perennial question of the mistrust, antagonism and mutual misrepresentation between the two major Western philosophical traditions, that of analytical philosophy and continental philosophy. While the former tradition aligns itself with the natural sciences, the latter tradition argues that the natural sciences cannot provide a model for philosophical method – identifying ‘knowledge’ with science – and should instead be concerned with questions of wisdom, our place in the world and the experience of cultural, aesthetic and ethical value.
Critchley tries to avoid any sectarianism and argues that the professional opposition between analytic and Continental philosophy is something that needs to be transcended. Critchley accepts that there is risk within continental philosophy of obscurantism, just as there is a risk of scientism in much analytic philosophy. Both scientism and obscurantism need to be avoided in order to recover the primary purpose of philosophy, which to understand ourselves, our world and, as Hegel puts it, to comprehend one’s time in thought. Critchley offers the example of the ‘will of God’ as the prime example of obscurantism, but within continental philosophy also the ‘drives’ in Freud, ‘archetypes’ in Jung, the ‘real’ in Lacan, ‘power’ in Foucault, ‘différance’ in Derrida, the ‘trace of God’ in Levinas, and the ‘epochal withdrawal of being in and as history’ in Heidegger.Critchley’s "Continental Philosophy" is both an introduction to that tradition of thinking and an essay in meta-philosophy, which lays out the way in which Critchley sees the role of theory and reflection. It has been translated into 9 languages.
On Humour (2002)
Since 2000, Critchley has turned his attention to what he calls ‘impossible objects’: humour, poetry and music. His "On Humour" (Routledge, 2002) continues the meditation on nihilism begun in "Very Little…Almost Nothing"; but he continues it in a very different key, analysing the meaning and importance of humour. Critchley argues that humour is an oblique phenomenology of ordinary bringing about a change of situation that exerts a powerful critical function. "On Humour" has been translated into 8 languages.
Things Merely Are (2005)
In "Things Merely Are" (Routledge, 2005), Critchley examines the relation between philosophy and poetry through an extended meditation on the poetry of Wallace Stevens. The book also contains Critchley’s essay on Terence Malick’s The Thin Red Line.
Infinitely Demanding (2007)
"Infinitely Demanding" (Verso, 2007) is a systematic overview of Critchley's philosophical position - ranging from phenomenological ethics, to political theory, and political analysis. Critchley argues for an ethically committed political anarchism. It is being translated into 5 languages. The book has led to some heated polemics, notably with Slavoj Zizek (See below, the Critchley-Zizek Debate). An extended discussion of "Infinitely Demanding" with Alain Badiou is available as [http://www.microcinemadvd.com/product/DVD/823/Democracy_and_Disappointment_On_the_Politics_of_Resistance.html Democracy and Disappointment: On the Politics of Resistance] - Alain Badiou and Simon Critchley in Conversation" (DVD, Slought Books, Philadelphia, 2008).
The Book of Dead Philosophers (2008)
An extended defense of the idea that to philosophize is to learn how to die, "The Book of Dead Philosophers" was published by Granta in the UK, Vintage in the US and Melbourne University Press in Australia. It is being translated into 6 languages. This is the publisher’s blurb to the English edition:
‘Death? I don’t think about it.’ If this remark attributed to Jean-Paul Sartre is true, he was unique among philosophers. For, as Simon Critchley shows in this dazzlingly wide-ranging and stimulating book, death has rarely been far from philosophers’ minds. Indeed, from ancient times the question of what constitutes a ‘good death’ has been a central preoccupation of philosophy. What, though, are we to make of the manner of philosophers’ own deaths? They have, it has to be said, often been bizarre – tales of madness, murder, suicide, pathos (and bathos) abound in this book, which recounts how some 200 philosophers took leave of this life. Heracleitus, for example, suffocated in cow dung; Aristotle killed himself with aconite; Empedocles plunged into Mount Etna in the hope of becoming a god; Francis Bacon died after stuffing a chicken with snow; Hegel died in a cholera epidemic and his last words were, ‘Only one man has ever understood me…and he didn’t understand me’; Jeremy Bentham had himself stuffed and sits on public view in University College London; Nietzsche made a long, soft-brained and dribbling descent into oblivion after kissing a horse in Turin; Roland Barthes was hit by a laundry van… From the self-mocking Haikus of Zen masters on their deathbeds to the last words of Christian saints and modern-day sages, this book contains much to inspire both amusement and reflection. As Critchley brilliantly demonstrates, looking closely at what great thinkers have said about death in the course of over two thousand years in fact turns out to be a life-affirming enquiry into the meaning and possibility of human happiness.
On Heidegger’s Being and Time (2008)
This volume (Routledge, 2008) combines Reiner Schürmann’s famous lectures at the New School for Social Research on Heidegger’s ‘Being and Time’ with Critchley’s New School lectures on the relation between Heidegger and Husserl and his interpretation of ‘Being and Time’. Where Critchley argues that we must see ‘Being and Time’ as a radicalization of Husserlian phenomenology, Reiner Schürmann urges to read Heidegger ‘backward’, arguing that Heidegger’s later work is the key to unraveling ‘Being and Time’. Critchley concludes the volume with an extended critique of Heidegger’s concept of authenticity.
"Der Katechismus des Bürgers" (2008)
This small volume on the problem of politics and religion was published in German. It is understood that an extended English version will appear in the future.
The Critchley-Zizek Debate
1. Critchley: [http://www.amazon.com/Infinitely-Demanding-Commitment-Politics-Resistance/dp/1844671216/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217965921&sr=8-2 Infinitely Demanding. Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance] , Verso, London & New York.
2. Zizek: [http://www.lrb.co.uk/v29/n22/zize01_.html Resistance Is Surrender] in the "London Review of Books"
3. [http://www.lrb.co.uk/v29/n24/letters.html#letter1 T.J. Clark's Response] in the "London Review of Books" & [http://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n01/letters.html#letter3 David Graeber's Response] in the London Review of Books
4. [http://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n02/letters.html#letter6 Zizek's Response] in the "London Review of Books"
5. [http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/02/0081896 Zizek's extended critique] in "Harper's" (February 2008)
6. [http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/05 Critchley's response] in "Harper's" (May 2008) 7. Zizek's "In Defense of Lost Causes" (Verso, London and New York, 2008), pp.337-350.
* (1991) [http://www.amazon.com/Re-reading-Levinas-Studies-Continental-Thought/dp/0253206243/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217964306&sr=8-1 Re-Reading Levinas] , ed. with Robert Bernasconi, Indiana University Press, Bloomington.
* (1992) [http://www.amazon.com/ETHICS-DECONSTRUCTION-Simon-Critchley/dp/1557531900/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217964393&sr=1-1 The Ethics of Deconstruction: Derrida and Levinas] , Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, (2nd edition, 1999)
* (1996) [http://www.amazon.com/Deconstructive-Subjectivities-Contemporary-Continental-Philosophy/dp/0791427242/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217964474&sr=1-1 Deconstructive Subjectivities] , ed. with Peter Dews, State University of New York Press, Ithaca, NY.
* (1996) [http://www.amazon.com/Emmanuel-Levinas-Philosophical-Writings-Continental/dp/0253210798 Emmanuel Levinas: Basic Philosophical Writings] , ed. with Adriaan T. Peperzak and Robert Bernasconi, Indiana University Press, Bloomington.
* (1997) [http://www.amazon.com/Very-Little-Almost-Nothing/dp/0415340497 Very Little... Almost Nothing: Death, Philosophy, Literature] , Routledge, London & New York (2nd Edition, 2004).
* (1998) [http://www.amazon.com/Companion-Continental-Philosophy-Blackwell-Companions/dp/0631218505/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217964776&sr=1-1 A Companion to Continental Philosophy] , ed. with William J. Schroeder, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
* (1999) [http://www.amazon.com/Ethics-Politics-Subjectivity-Derrida-Levinas-Contemporary-Phronesis/dp/1859842461/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217964832&sr=1-1 Ethics-Politics-Subjectivity: Essays on Derrida, Levinas, and Contemporary French Thought] , Verso, London (Reissued, 2007).
* (2001) [http://www.amazon.com/Continental-Philosophy-Short-Introduction-Introductions/dp/0192853597/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217964926&sr=1-1 Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction] , Oxford University Press.
* (2002) [http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-Companion-Levinas-Companions-Philosophy/dp/0521665655/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217965028&sr=1-1 The Cambridge Companion to Levinas] , ed. with Robert Bernasconi, Cambridge University Press.
* (2002) [http://www.amazon.com/Humour-Thinking-Action-Simon-Critchley/dp/0415251214/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217965088&sr=1-2 On Humour] , Routledge, London.
* (2004) [http://www.amazon.com/Laclau-Critical-Reader-S-Critchley/dp/0415238447/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217965204&sr=1-1 Laclau, A Critical Reader] , ed. with Oliver Marchart, Routledge, London.
* (2005) [http://www.amazon.com/Human-Condition-Thinking-Action/dp/0415327962/ref=sr_oe_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1217965282&sr=1-1 On the Human Condition] , with Dominique Janicaud & Eileen Brennan, Routledge, London.
* (2005) [http://www.amazon.com/Things-Merely-Are-Philosophy-Wallace/dp/0415356318/ref=sr_oe_2_2?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1217965370&sr=1-2 Things Merely Are: Philosophy in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens] , Routledge, London.
* (2007) [http://www.amazon.com/Infinitely-Demanding-Commitment-Politics-Resistance/dp/1844671216/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217965921&sr=8-2 Infinitely Demanding. Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance] , Verso, London & New York.
* (2008) [http://www.amazon.com/Book-Dead-Philosophers-Simon-Critchley/dp/1847080103/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217965546&sr=8-2 The Book of Dead Philosophers] , Granta Books, London; Vintage, New York; Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.
* (2008) [http://www.amazon.com/Heideggers-Being-Time-Reiner-Sch%C3%BCrmann/dp/0415775965/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217965608&sr=1-1 On Heidegger’s ‘Being and Time’] , with Reiner Schürmann, edited by Steven Levine, Routledge, London and New York.
* (2008) [http://www.amazon.de/Katechismus-B%C3%BCrgers-Simon-Critchley/dp/3037340320/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217965707&sr=8-1 Der Katechismus des Bürgers] , Diaphanes Verlag, Berlin.
* (2008) [http://www.amazon.com/Democracy-Disappointment-Politics-Resistance-Critchley/dp/B001AXTZIO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1217965806&sr=8-2 Democracy and Disappointment: On the Politics of Resistance] (DVD) - Alain Badiou and Simon Critchley in Conversation, Slought Books, Philadelphia.
Critchley has edited the following book series:
* "Thinking the Political" (Routledge)
* "Blackwell Readings in Continental Philosophy"(Blackwell)
* "Thinking in Action" (Routledge)
* "How to Read..." (Granta, London and W.W. Norton, New York)
* list of deconstructionists
* Under the name of [http://www.broadjam.com/cas Critchley & Simmons] , Critchley has produced a CD called "Humiliation" (2004) and a series of short films. This project was launched in an event at the Sydney Opera House in August 2004.
* Critchley gave the name The Bleach Boys to a Hitchin based band previously known as "The Fur Coughs".
* Critchley himself played guitar in a number of North Hertfordshire bands including "The Good Blokes" and "Social Class 5".
* [http://www.newschool.edu/NSSR/faculty.aspx?id=10262&DeptFilter=NSSR+Philosophy/ Critchley's webpage at The New School for Social Research]
* [http://www.stateofnature.org/crypto-schmit.html "Crypto-Schmittianism"]
* [http://www.politicaltheory.info/essays/critchley.htm "The Problem of Hegemony"]
* [http://www.film-philosophy.com/vol6-2002/n48critchley "Calm: On Terrence Malick's "The Thin Red Line"]
* [http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/Cmach/Backissues/j004/Articles/critchley.htm "Ethics, Politics and Radical Democracy - The History of a Disagreement"]
* [http://www.essex.ac.uk/centres/TheoStud/onlinepapers.asp "I Want to Die, I Hate my Life - Phaedra's Malaise"]
* [http://www.geocities.com/hypermedia_joyce/critchley_mccarthy.html "Of Chrematology: Joyce and Money"] with Tom McCarthy
* [http://www.radicalphilosophy.com/default.asp?channel_id=2188&editorial_id=10280 "Philosophy in Germany"] with Axel Honneth
* [http://www.radicalphilosophy.com/default.asp?channel_id=2188&editorial_id=10066 Demanding Approval: On the Ethics of Alain Badiou]
* [http://www.radicalphilosophy.com/default.asp?channel_id=2191&editorial_id=9839 Obituary for Emmanuel Levinas]
* [http://www.radicalphilosophy.com/default.asp?channel_id=2191&editorial_id=10663 Obituary for Dominique Janicaud]
* [http://www.lrb.co.uk/v29/n18/crit01_.html A Heroism of the Decision, a Politics of the Event]
* [http://podularity.com/2008/08/30/17-unstitching-the-carefully-tailored-suit/. "Podularity"]
* [http://www.believermag.com/issues/200308/?read=interview_critchley "The Believer"]
* [http://www.culturewars.org.uk/2002-12/simoncritchley.htm "Culture Wars"]
* [http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/dead-philosophers-society-an-interview-with-simon-critchley/ "3AM magazine"]
* [http://www.necronauts.org/interviews_simon.htm "The Necronautical Society"]
* [http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/the-book-of-dead-philosophers-by-simon-critchley-922308.html Famous Last Words: Notes from the Philosophers' Graveyard] - Review of 'The Book of Dead Philosophers' in "The Independant"
* [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/arts/2008/06/21/bocri121.xml Laugh, If Your Death Mask Will Allow It] - Review of 'The Book of Dead Philosophers' in "The Daily Telepgraph"
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/jun/11/top10s.philosophers.deaths Simon Critchley's Top 10 Philosophers' Deaths] - On 'The Book of Dead Philosophers' in "The Guardian"
* [http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1d49755c-5aac-11dd-bf96-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1 Mortality Tales] Review of 'The Book of Dead Philosophers' in "The Financial Times"
* [http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2008/07/with-their-boot.html With Their Boots On] Review of 'The Book of Dead Philosophers' in "The New Yorker"
* [http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2008/0621/1213917294916.html Laughing At the Last Things] Review of 'The Book of Dead Philosophers' in "The Irish Times"
* [http://www.theage.com.au/news/books/the-small-matters-of-life-and-death/2008/06/05/1212259005281.html The Small Matters of Life and Death] Review of 'The Book of Dead Philosophers' in "The Age"
* [http://reviews.media-culture.org.au/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2709 Review of 'The Book of Dead Philosophers'] in "M/C Reviews"
* [http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/the-book-of-dead-philosophers-by-simon-critchley-864646.html Review of 'The Book of Dead Philosophers'] - in "The Independent"
* [http://newhumanist.org.uk/1794 Review of 'The Book of Dead Philosophers'] - in "New Humanist"
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/aug/09/philosophy.history Review of 'The Book of Dead Philosophers'] - in "The Guardian"
Источник: Simon Critchley