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by Lars Svendsen

  • ISBN: 186189404X
  • Author: Lars Svendsen
  • ePub ver: 1685 kb
  • Fb2 ver: 1685 kb
  • Rating: 4.2 of 5
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 192
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books; 2 edition (November 1, 2008)
  • Formats: rtf mbr azw lit
  • Category: Fitness
  • Subcategory: Mental Health
epub A Philosophy of Fear download

Lars Svendsen is associate professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Bergen.

Lars Svendsen is associate professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Bergen. He is the author of numerous books, including Fashion: A Philosophy and A Philosophy of Boredom, both published by Reaktion Books; The Philosophy of Evil; and Man, Morals and Genes: A Critique of Biologism. Svendsen, clearly is not a specialist on fear. I think he ought to have told his audience that at the beginning of the book, but he didn't

Lars Svendsen is associate professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Bergen. I think he ought to have told his audience that at the beginning of the book, but he didn't. He comes out sounding like he is and prescribes a rather humanist optimism overall throughout the book, in the face of the problem of fear. I find that a bit shallow, myself.

In A Philosophy of Fear, Lars Svendsen now explores the underlying ideas and issues behind this powerful emotion, as he investigates how and why fear has insinuated itself into every aspect of modern life.

In A Philosophy of Fear, Lars Svendsen now explores the underlying ideas and issues behind this powerful emotion, as he investigates how and why fear has insinuated itself into every aspect of modern life ) nature of fear. He examines the biology behind the emotion, from the neuroscience underlying our fight or flight instinct to how fear induces us to take irrational actions in our attempts to minimize risk.

Svendsen claims our lives are being increasingly colonised by fear; but George W. Bush and Tony Blair et al hardly compare with other fear-mongerers, particularly that archetypal merchant of fear, Joseph Stalin

Svendsen claims our lives are being increasingly colonised by fear; but George W. Bush and Tony Blair et al hardly compare with other fear-mongerers, particularly that archetypal merchant of fear, Joseph Stalin. What made Stalin so frightening was not that he sought to induce fear in his enemies, and so inadvertently oppressed his friends, but that he sought to terrify loyal supporters.

Lars Svendsen's short polemical work on fear responds to this increased hype of the fearful, which, he claims, has become . A Philosophy of Fear. By Lars Svendsen Reaktion Books 160pp £1. 5 ISBN 9781861894045 Published 29 September 2008.

Lars Svendsen's short polemical work on fear responds to this increased hype of the fearful, which, he claims, has become so widespread that we are now living in a "low-intensity fear. that surrounds us and forms a backdrop of our experiences and interpretations". Svendsen does not content himself with merely indulging in a scholarly rant.

A Philosophy of Fear book. Svendsen ultimately argues for the possibility of a brighter, less fearful future that is marked by a triumph of humanist optimism

A Philosophy of Fear book. Surveillance cameras. Airport security lines  . Svendsen ultimately argues for the possibility of a brighter, less fearful future that is marked by a triumph of humanist optimism.

Surveillance cameras. We see manifestations of societal fears every day, and daily news reports on the latest household danger or raised terror threat level continually stoke our sense of impending doom. In "A Philosophy of Fear", Lars Svendsen explores the underlying ideas and issues behind this powerful emotion, as he investigates how and why fear has insinuated itself into every aspect of modern life. Svendsen delves into science, politics, sociology and literature to explore the nature of fear.

Przeczytaj go w aplikacji Książki Google Play na komputerze albo na urządzeniu z Androidem lub iOS. Pobierz, by czytać offline. Czytając książkę A Philosophy of Boredom, zaznaczaj tekst, dodawaj zakładki i rób notatki. It has been described as a "tame longing without any particular object" by Schopenhauer, "a bestial and indefinable affliction" by Dostoevsky, and "time's invasion of your world system" by Joseph Brodsky, but still very few of us today can explain precisely what boredom is.

Surveillance cameras. Airport security lines. Barred store windows. We see manifestations of societal fears everyday, and daily news reports on the latest household danger or raised terror threat level continually stoke our sense of impending doom. In A Philosophy of Fear, Lars Svendsen now explores the underlying ideas and issues behind this powerful emotion, as he investigates how and why fear has insinuated itself into every aspect of modern life.Svendsen delves into science, politics, sociology, and literature to explore the nature of fear. He examines the biology behind the emotion, from the neuroscience underlying our “fight or flight” instinct to how fear induces us to take irrational actions in our attempts to minimize risk. The book then turns to the political and social realms, investigating the role of fear in the philosophies of Machiavelli and Hobbes, the rise of the modern “risk society,” and how fear has eroded social trust. Entertainment such as the television show “Fear Factor,” competition in extreme sports, and the political use of fear in the ongoing “War on Terror” all come under Svendsen’s probing gaze, as he investigates whether we can ever disentangle ourselves from the continual state of alarm that defines our age.  Svendsen ultimately argues for the possibility of a brighter, less fearful future that is marked by a triumph of humanist optimism. An incisive and thought-provoking meditation, A Philosophy of Fear pulls back the curtain that shrouds dangers imagined and real, forcing us to confront our fears and why we hold to them. 
Comments (4)

LoboThommy
A wonderful trip into the social structures, and underlying problems we face everyday.
Aria
:)
Marinara
I not only like this book, I applaud it as one of the rare contemporary books by a professional philosopher who takes on the topic of fear (i.e., instead of just anxiety and the tradition of (usually) existential philosophers studying anxiety, from Kierkegaard on). This book, like my own thinking on the topic, is that we are always in the end talking about "Fear" (it just has many forms, cousins, e.g., anxiety, dread, terror). I must say, I am disappointed (not totally surprised) that no one has written a substantive book review here on Amazon.com re: "A Philosophy of Fear" in some eight years since it came out. But, then, "fear" is not a topic most people like to stick their noses into for very long, and if they do, typically they merely want to read a self-help book with prescriptions and over-simplified definitions of fear and how best to manage it. Well, neither Svendsen or myself would suggest such self-help fear books are useless, rather, they are just not very deep or philosophical, and thus, not very critical of the larger dimensions of which fear operates and they characteristically do not address what Svendsen points to in his introduction of the book, where overall, it appears our contemporary world (at least W. societies) are being over-run by not merely the emotion of fear (if that's how one wants to define it)--but the real problem, according to Svendsen, "is that we seem to see everything from a perspective of fear" (p. 13) (what Frank Furedi, the sociologist, and others have called a "lens of fear"). When fear becomes an idea (see Corey Robin's book "Fear: The History of a Political Idea") or a lens itself or a cultural trope that is the general low grade background from which the self is constructed these days--see Brian Massumi's "Everyday Politics of Fear")--then fear is no longer what it used to be. It is now a major "shaping [of] our space of action" (as Svendsen says on p. 12), and this is not what self-help books by the 1000's will ever address.

So, how does a professional philosopher, like Lars Svendsen, approach fear differently than the medical doctor, psychiatrist, therapist, psychologist, or school teacher? He begins the book with the most important construct (and context) of "Culture of Fear." I so appreciate that as I am a long-time researcher on this topic of culture of fear and how it sets the reference of the way we come to a relationship with fear in today's world in a unique post-traumatic century (as many cultural thinkers have argued). Albert Camus, the existential philosopher called the 20th century the "century of fear" and in a post-WWII context, he was asking us to attune to this new context, which in the 21st century arguably is a century of terror.

The professional philosopher has to do some other things, unique to a philosophical inquiry, and unfortunately Svendsen doesn't deliver a fully satisfactory approach. He more muses over various aspects of fear, in culture, the definition issue, the association with risk, the attraction of fear, fear related to trust and so on... but there are many other serious sociologists, anthropologists, and critical thinker who also look at these things and I keep asking myself if Svendsen is really doing a 'new' philosophy of fear? Or, more so, it looks as if he chose to merely apply some philosophy and general critique of society to the topic, keeping the book comfortable for a more popular audience. That's understandable but it is a compromise as well, and he doesn't say so in the book. When you look at the record of writing of Svendsen, he is a philosopher who takes up writing about many popular topics, like boredom and fashion etc. I see a lot of this kind of pop philosophy being written these days.

I think that he is fine to do popular philosophical books like this, short (c. 150 pp. with references), but not on the topic fear--as, I think too many other books on fear are short and just like this. There was not a lot unique in this book that I hadn't read in other people's work, in or outside of the field and discipline of philosophy per se. Svendsen, clearly is not a specialist on fear. I think he ought to have told his audience that at the beginning of the book, but he didn't. He comes out sounding like he is and prescribes a rather humanist optimism overall throughout the book, in the face of the problem of fear. I find that a bit shallow, myself. I also think he really didn't construct the difficulties of the Fear Problem the way I do in my work (e.g., see "The World's Fearlessness Teachings: A Critical Integral Approach to Fear Management/Education for the 21st Century" in 2010).

Svendsen wrote "Fear would seem to have become all-embracing, in the sense that there is no longer any area of society left where a perspective of fear does not apply" (p. 12). That's got to be my favorite quote from his book, and the most important point he makes. But, then is his philosophy of fear, or anyone elses, in or outside of philosophy per se, adequate to the task of analyzing that "all-embracing" nature of fear, as emotion, but also as lens, as perspective? I think not. We require a much more systematic philosophy of fear--which I and Desh Subba call the "philosophy of fearism" (see "Philosophy of Fearism: A First East-West Dialogue" 2016). We need not just a philosopher to casually study fear and write a one-off book and then move on to another topic. This latter complaint is one I could throw at many many authors who write books on fear. I am concerned that the public (readers) who live in this challenging time (what Subba calls an "Extreme Fear Age" today) are only getting a pile full of one-off books, and not being invited into a co-inquiry on the nature and role of fear from a "fearist perspective" (as Subba calls it), or I have sometimes called a "fearlessness perspective." You, see my point is that Svendsen is saying that a "perspective of fear" is running the show and causing an awful lot of problems from individual to collective today, yet, he develops in his little book no alternative perspective of analysis which Subba and I have, that is, the "fearist perspective" within the context of a developing philosophy of fearism. I trust you may want to read more than Svendsen's one-off (although it is a good read and useful).
Zeus Wooden
Thank you for a prompt delivery. I have not read the book yet but am looking forward to the pleasure

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