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To Be Is To Be Anxious

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Monday, April 29, 2024 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1CV037
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(Princeton University Press/Samir Chopra)

Anxiety is usually thought of as a pathology, the most diagnosed and medicated of all psychological disorders. But it isn’t always or only a medical condition. Some philosophers argue that anxiety is a normal, even essential, part of being human, and that coming to terms with this fact is potentially transformative, allowing us to live more meaningful lives by giving us a richer understanding of ourselves.

Philosophy professor Samir Chopra explores valuable insights about anxiety from ancient and modern philosophies, including Buddhism, existentialism, psychoanalysis, and critical theory. Many philosophers—including the Buddha, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, and Heidegger—have viewed anxiety as an inevitable human response to existence: To be is to be anxious. Philosophy may not be able to cure anxiety, but by leading to greater self-knowledge and self-acceptance, it may make us less anxious about being anxious.

Chopra is a philosophical counselor and professor emeritus of philosophy at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

His book Anxiety: A Philosophical Guide (Princeton University Press) is available for purchase.

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