9781590513170

A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophy

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781590513170

  • ISBN10:

    1590513177

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-05-12
  • Publisher: Other Press
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Summary

Susannah's official boyfriend, Jason, is the perfect foil for her student lifestyle. He is ten years older, an antiques dealer, and owns a stylish apartment that prevents her from having to live in the seedy digs on campus. This way, she can take her philosophy major very seriously and dabble in the social and sexual freedom of 1970s university life. But circumstances become more complicated than Susannah would like when she begins to have an affair with her tutorial partner, Rob. Soon she is dating two men, missing her lectures, exploring independence and feminism with her girlfriends, and finding herself in a particularly impossible dilemma: she becomes pregnant. Forced to look beyond her friends and lovers for support, she finds help and inspiration from the lessons of Kierkegaard and other European philosophers. A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophyis a delightfully insightful, bittersweet coming-of-age romp, in which love is far from platonic and the mindbody predicament a pressing reality. It even succeeds where many introductions to philosophy have failed, by effortlessly bringing to life the central tenets of the most important European philosophers of modern times.

Author Biography

Charlotte Greig worked as a music journalist in print and radio before becoming a folk singer and songwriter. She has made five albums and written a book on girl groups, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?: Girl Groups from the 50s On. She is also a playwright, for radio and stage. She lives in Cardiff, Wales, U.K., with her family. A Girl’s Guide to Modern European Philosophy is her first novel.

Excerpts

I hadn’t understood much of what I’d read inBeing and Time, but I had the feeling that what Heidegger was on about was pretty mind-blowing, and could change the way I thought about everything. As far as I could fathom, he was saying that up to now, Western philosophers had put forward the incredibly stupid idea that human beings are essentially minds trapped inside bodies, somehow peering out at the world as though through a plate-glass window and wondering what’s really out there, if anything. But the reality is that we human beings find ourselves in the world, are “thrown” into it, as he put it, and have to sink or swim as best we can. We have to do things, make things, to survive: find food, shelter, and so on. We do all this without thinking: we only need to think, in fact, when some problem arises. It’s like driving: you just do it automatically, and it’s only when you notice you’re about to crash that you have to start paying attention.

So thinking, Heidegger seemed to be saying, is a kind of aberration. Before we start thinking, things just carry on, and we kind of merge into life without being conscious of ourselves as subjects separate from the world of objects and other people. Instead of being trapped inside the plate-glass window, and looking out, and wishing we could connect, here we are, “being-in-the-world,” right in the cut and thrust of life all the time, if we only knew it.


Excerpted from A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophy by Charlotte Greig
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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