David Cogswell has written a book "Existentialism for Beginners" with art by Joe Lee. Cogswell begins with Hegel, as a representative of the philosophic idealism which gave the existentialists something to react against. He continues with an historical overview of the main philosophers associated with existentialism, and their chief concerns: a consistent emphasis on the importance of the individual and of individual, a rejection of the so-called objective point of view, and a desire to make their writings relevant to the everyday life lived by ordinary people. Cogswell also takes pains to place each writer in their social and historical context. A final section discusses existentialism in the arts, psychology, politics and popular culture. Readers will explore the lives and works of nineteenth-century writers, including Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky, and Nietzsche; twentieth-century German philosophers Jaspers and Heidegger; and the flowering of the movement in postwar France brought forth by Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Simone de Beauvoir, and beyond. The cover shows Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir, clad in conservative dark suits, drinking coffee in a café surrounded by a haze of cigarette smoke.
The release date for Existentialism for Beginners is October 14, 2008. Copies may be ordered from online book dealers such Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/). Further information about the "For Beginners" books, including a catalog of all their titles, is available from the company web site at http://www.forbeginnersbooks.com/. Price: $14.95 ($16.95 Canadian)