The Fear of Insignificance: Searching for Meaning in the Twenty-first Century

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Palgrave Macmillan, Jan 15, 2011 - Philosophy - 220 pages

In The Fear of Insignificance Carlo Strenger diagnoses the wide-spread fear of the global educated class of leading insignificant lives. Making use of cutting-edge psychological, philosophical, sociological, and economic theory, he shows how these fears are generated by infotainment’s craze for rating human beings. The book is a unique blend of an interpretation of the historical present and a poignant description of contemporary individual experience, anxiety, and hopes, in which Strenger makes use of his decades of clinical experience in existential psychotherapy. Without falling into the trap of simplistic self-help advice, Strenger shows how a process he calls active self-acceptance, together with serious intellectual investment in our worldviews, can provide us with stable identity and meaning.

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Our Historical Moment
The Celebrity Culture and the Designed Self
Relativism and Pop Spirituality

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About the author (2011)

Carlo Strenger is Chair of the Clinical Graduate Program of the Department of Psychology at Tel Aviv University. He serves on the Permanent Monitoring Panel on Terrorism of the World Federation of Scientists, the Seminar of Existential Psychoanalysis in Zurich, and the Scientific Board of the Sigmund Freud Foundation in Vienna, in addition to maintaining a part-time practice in existential psychoanalysis. Strenger's research focuses on the impact of globalization on identity and meaning. He has published five books, including The Designed Self. His work has been reported on and he has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Time Magazine, as well as hundreds of newspapers and websites in more than twenty languages. Strenger is an outspoken defender of Classical Liberalism, a critic of deteriorating norms in the public domain, and an advocate of a sane and just solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He blogs on the Huffington Post and Haaretz, Israel's leading liberal newspaper, and writes regularly for Haaretz, The Guardian, Die Welt, and The New York Times.

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