On Extinction: Beginning Again At The End (Hardcover)

On Extinction: Beginning Again At The End By Ben Ware Cover Image

On Extinction: Beginning Again At The End (Hardcover)

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"This path-breaking book by one of the sharpest minds in contemporary philosophy will live on for a very long time."
—Dany Nobus, author of Critique of Psychoanalytic Reason

Philosophy at the end of the world


On Extinction takes us on a breathtaking philosophical journey through desperate territory. As we face ‘the end of all things’, Ben Ware argues we must face our apocalyptic future without flinching. In fact, extinction is the very lens through which we should examine our current reality.

Radical politics today should not be concerned with merely averting the worst but rather with beginning again at the end. To think about the future in this way is itself a form of liberation that might incubate the necessary radical solutions we need.

Combining lessons from Kant, Hegel, Adorno, and Lacan, as well as drawing on popular culture and ecology, Ware recasts the most urgent issue of our times and resolves that we can only consider our collective end by treating it as a starting point.
Ben Ware is Co-Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Art at King’s College London where he is also a Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy. He is the author of Dialectic of the Ladder: Wittgenstein, the ‘Tractatus’ and Modernism (Bloomsbury, 2015); Living Wrong Life Rightly: Modernism, Ethics, and the Political Imagination (Palgrave, 2017); and editor of Francis Bacon: Painting, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis (Thames & Hudson, 2019). His recent essays have appeared in e-flux journal, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and ESP magazine.
Product Details ISBN: 9781788739993
ISBN-10: 178873999X
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: March 26th, 2024
Pages: 192
Language: English
"On Extinction is a formidable intervention. The end is too serious a matter to be treated as tragedy or heroic sacrifice; rather, as Ben Ware shows, thinking it requires the materialist dialectic and its predilection for comedy: stubbornly beginning again, and again."
—Alenka Zupancic, author of What IS Sex?

"A sweeping tour of our crisis present…Ben Ware offers a series of incisive and unforgiving readings that guide and impel us through the wreckage of contemporary capitalism."
—Benjamin Noys, author of The Matter of Language

"An important book for our time. On Extinction follows what the late Gustav Metzger always told me: it is not enough to talk about climate change, we have to talk about extinction."
—Hans Ulrich Obrist, artistic director Serpentine Galleries, London

"Ben Ware’s wonderfully lucid new book exposes the diabolical evil of the cult of capitalism in its limitless assault on life in all its forms. It is by going through the disaster that we will find the path to planetary liberation. An essentially, urgently necessary intervention."
—Richard Seymour, author of The Disenchanted Earth

"Carefully researched, tightly constructed, and broadly accessible, Ware’s argument is both subversive and indispensable. Whatever happens next, one thing is sure: this path-breaking book by one of the sharpest minds in contemporary philosophy will live on for a very long time."
—Dany Nobus, author of Critique of Psychoanalytic Reason

"How should critical theory address the multiple catastrophes raging through the planet - war, pandemic, climate chaos, and the like - and the threat of human extinction that they pose? Ben Ware offers a lucid, illuminating, and erudite response of great value in recalibrating our thinking to address the terrifying world we now inhabit"
—Alex Callinicos, author of The New Age of Catastrophe

"What philosopher Ben Ware is asking, then, is for us to imagine-to internalize-the reality of human finitude, the end of us. Only then, he suggests, will we be able to take in the full horizon of what we've wrought and, perhaps, move forward into a new and radical version of our shared future."
Lit Hub

"In this bold, fast-moving philosophical essay, which is as elegant and erudite as it is forcefully argued, Ben Ware develops not simply an aesthetics or ethics of extinction but a politics capable of responding to its almost unthinkable existential challenge. This is a brilliant book, bristling with both provocative ideas and perceptive, often unexpected readings."
—Matt Beaumontt, author of How We Walk

"In On Extinction, Ben Ware writes towards a collective time liberated from the paradoxical, narcissistic apocalypse narratives of the 21st century: that it is both too late for the planet and that we must urgently act now to save it."
—Autumn Wright, Bullet Points