On Extinction

On Extinction:Beginning Again At The End

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Philosophy at the end of the world

On Extinction takes us on a breathtaking philosophical journey through desperate territory. As we face ‘the end of all things’, Ben Ware argues we must face our apocalyptic future without flinching. In fact, extinction is the very lens through which we should examine our current reality.

Radical politics today should not be concerned with merely averting the worst but rather with beginning again at the end. To think about the future in this way is itself a form of liberation that might incubate the necessary radical solutions we need.

Combining lessons from Kant, Hegel, Adorno, and Lacan, as well as drawing on popular culture and ecology, Ware recasts the most urgent issue of our times and resolves that we can only consider our collective end by treating it as a starting point.


  • On Extinction is a formidable intervention. The end is too serious a matter to be treated as tragedy or heroic sacrifice; rather, as Ben Ware shows, thinking it requires the materialist dialectic and its predilection for comedy: stubbornly beginning again, and again.

    Alenka Zupancic, author of What IS Sex?
  • A sweeping tour of our crisis present…Ben Ware offers a series of incisive and unforgiving readings that guide and impel us through the wreckage of contemporary capitalism.

    Benjamin Noys, author of The Matter of Language
  • An important book for our time. On Extinction follows what the late Gustav Metzger always told me: it is not enough to talk about climate change, we have to talk about extinction.

    Hans Ulrich Obrist, artistic director Serpentine Galleries, London