Simon Critchley Quotes

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.

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

Humour is human. Why? Well because the Philosopher Aristotle says so.

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.

Philosophy for me is essentially atheistic. Now that's an anxious atheism. It's an atheism that is anxious because it inhabits questions that were resolved religiously in the pre-modern period.

My body was a buzzing antenna into which radio waves flooded from the entire cosmos. I was the living switchboard of the universe. My skull was a magnetized globe.

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.

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.

Any philosophical and theoretical assurance that laughter is unique to the human being becomes somewhat unsure when one turns to the anthropological literature.

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.

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.

For me philosophy is an activity of thought that is common to human beings. Human beings at their best.

Now if laughter is proper to the human being then the human being who does not laugh invites the charge of inhumanity or at least makes us somewhat suspicious.

Philosophy teaches us to look at the world again. It brings out at a theoretical level what all plain common ordinary people in a sense know already.

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.

The current situation with regard to theory is odd and maybe defined by a paradox.

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

Also rights are not things that are given in the heavens. Rather they are levers for political articulations which enables what was previously invisible to become visible.

It is so ridiculous to limit oneself to one version of the truth.

I guess what happens to a lot of people as they get older is that they get more conservative but with me the opposite is the case.

There are lots of stories about how philosophy begins. Some people claim it begins in wonder; some people claim it begins in worry. I claim it begins in disappointment.

The philosopher is someone who doesn't know but who wants to find out.

In relation to the question of hope I think the only hope we have is hope against hope. We hope for a better world. But of course we can do better than just hope.