Simon Critchley

Simon Critchley is Hans Jonas Professor at the New School for Social Research, and a part-time professor of philosophy at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. His many books include Infinitely Demanding, Ethics-Politics-Subjectivity and, most recently, The Book of Dead Philosophers.


  • VIDEO: In Memoriam Philip Seymour Hoffman

    With the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman, the world of cinema has lost a giant, an Oscar-winning actor who could basically fit in every role, from a maverick CIA agent to a Catholic priest, from Arthur Miller’s Willy Loman to Truman Capote.

    Just over a year ago philosopher Simon Critchley met with Philip Seymour Hoffman for the final in a series of on-stage conversations called Happy Talk. During a very lively discussion, the actor wrestles with the concepts of happiness, love, and death with the same courage and compelling insight that he brought to his roles. 

  • January 1st, 2019

    In a humorous piece of short fiction written for the blog Communists In Situ, Verso author Simon Critchley looks back from the future to provide a biting critique of our current state of affairs.
    In the post, dated January 1st, 2019, Critchley describes a dystopia in which the President has committed suicide, people either have sex in public or not at all, and the Russian search engine that overtook Google has instituted a "1:1 drone to person charity program."

    Critchley's dystopic brief embodies what he has proposed as the appropriate approach to art today: "the heart of any artistic response to the present should perhaps be the cultivation of the monstrous and its concomitant affect – disgust."

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  • The Hamlet Doctrine: Punky, provocative forays into Hamlet

    ‘Knowledge kills action; action requires the veils of illusion – that is the Hamlet Doctrine.’ Friedrich Nietzsche’s interpretation of Hamlet forms a core around which the philosopher Simon Critchley and the psychoanalyst Jamieson Webster construct their by turns bold and subtle analyses of Hamlet. Critchley and Webster write in The Hamlet Doctrine that Hamlet ‘turns on the corrosive dialectic of knowledge and action, where the former disables the latter and insight into the truth induces a disgust with existence’. 

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