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This Life: Why Mortality Makes Us Free
— —
Martin Hagglund
This Life: Why Mortality Makes Us Free by Martin Hagglund at Abbey's Bookshop,

This Life: Why Mortality Makes Us Free

Martin Hagglund


Profile Books LTD

Phenomenology & Existentialism;
Social & political philosophy;
Philosophy of religion;
Advocate - Philosophy


464 pages

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'Any spiritual life must tremble with the anxiety of freedom, even in the most profound fulfillment of our aspirations...' Would Heaven be boring? Do you want to live forever? If this is all there is, what should we do with it? Join the Swedish philosopher Martin Hagglund on an original inquiry into the deepest questions of existence.

To embrace the freedom that life grants us, Hagglund argues, we must rid ourselves of religious fantasies of immortality. Our time in this world is the only thing of value we can ever possess, but capitalism constantly beguiles us to steal it away. Via profound engagements with some of the greatest philosophers and theologians in history, including Aristotle, St Augustine, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Hegel and Marx, Hagglund takes aim at these two great enemies, religion and capitalism, stripping away their many subtle illusions to return us to life itself, in all its fragility and uncertainty.

This Life is the first great work of existentialist philosophy to emerge in the 21st century. Existence is our collective project: we must grasp that everything is at stake in what we do with our finite time together. It is the only thing we possess, and it is precious.

By:   Martin Hagglund
Imprint:   Profile Books LTD
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Main
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 162mm,  Spine: 40mm
Weight:   746g
ISBN:   9781788163002
ISBN 10:   1788163001
Pages:   464
Publication Date:   September 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Martin Hagglund is Professor of Comparative Literature and Humanities at Yale University, and a member of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. His first book in English, Radical Atheism (2008), was the subject of a conference at Cornell, a colloquium at Oxford, and a 250-page special issue of The New Centennial Review titled Living On: Of Martin Hagglund. His most recent book, Dying for Time: Proust, Woolf, Nabokov (2012), was hailed by the Los Angeles Review of Books as a 'revolutionary' achievement. In 2018, he received a Guggenheim fellowship. He lives in New York City.

Beautifully liberating ... H glund's fundamental secular cry seems right: since time is all we have, we must measure its preciousness in units of freedom. Nothing else will do. Once this glorious idea has taken hold, it is very hard to dislodge. -- James Wood * New Yorker * Lucidly written, and at times beautifully so, it is unmistakably a work of philosophy... [H glund] wants to effect a revolutionary change in our understanding of value, in our economies and in our lives. -- Mark O'Connell * New Statesman * A splendid primer in the importance of authentic freedom. * Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek minister of finance and author of Adults in the Room * Martin H glund shows with real originality why the moral concern that underlies religious faith has always been a hope for the perpetuation of life on earth. Stringent, lucid, and urgent in its appeal for a politics equal to the prospect of climate disaster, This Life is both an argument and a summons. * David Bromwich, Sterling Professor at Yale University and author of Moral Imagination * This is a rare piece of work, the product of great intellectual strength and moral fortitude. The writing shows extraordinary range and possesses an honesty and fervor which is entirely without cynicism... H glund is a genuine moralist for our times, possessed of an undaunted resoluteness and a fierce commitment to intellectual probity. Maybe he's the philosophical analogue to Karl Ove Knausgaard. * Simon Critchley, curator for The New York Times` The Stone and author of Tragedy, the Greeks, and Us * A bold contemporary take on existentialism... Earnest and precise... huge intellectual range... beautifully clear. This Life requires no philosophical training or lexicon to follow it, only an interest in the meaning of this life...I found H glund's cherishing of mortal life a cheering corrective to the sometimes joyless scientificity of the new atheism....H glund is surely right that it is our mortality, our miraculous existence as carbon-based matter turned all too briefly into conscious beings who can love and be loved, that makes us priceless to ourselves and to each other. -- Joe Moran * Times Higher Education *

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