How to be an Existentialist : or How to Get Real, Get a Grip and Stop Making Excuses, Paperback Book

How to be an Existentialist : or How to Get Real, Get a Grip and Stop Making Excuses Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


This is a concise and humorous introduction to existentialism aimed squarely at a general readership - and available in paperback for the first time. "How to Be an Existentialist" is a concise, witty and entertaining book about the philosophy of existentialism.

It is also a genuine self-help book offering clear advice on how to live according to the principles of existentialism formulated by Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus and the other great existentialist philosophers.

An attack on contemporary excuse culture, the book urges us to face the hard existential truths of the human condition.

It uncompromisingly counsels us to become tougher and more dignified, less grumbling and irresponsible, to stop chasing rainbows and making excuses and instead to get a grip and get real.

By revealing that we are all inescapably free and responsible - 'condemned to be free', as Sartre says - the book aims to empower the reader with a sharp sense that we are each the master of our own destiny.

Cox makes fun of the reputation existentialism has for being gloomy and pessimistic, exposing it for what it really is - an honest, uplifting and potentially life changing philosophy.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Phenomenology & Existentialism
  • ISBN: 9781441139870

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Really enjoyed this book. Author clearly has a sense of humour. A demanding read but worth the effort. 

Review by

Nice introduction to Sartrean existentialism. Docked him a star for the painfully unfunny jokes that did nothing to support his points (and in fact, usually muddled them). Example: "[Heidegger's] national socialism is always hard to accommodate with the fact that he wrote Being and Time, one of the great texts of existentialism. Text as in book, that is, rather than a text you peck out on your mobile phone. Texting Being and Time, now that would be an achievement." Still recommended if you can bear these digressions, because the book is otherwise relatively clear and accessible.

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