Simon J. Critchley (born February 27, 1960) is an English philosopher currently teaching at The New School, who writes primarily on politics, religion, ethics, and aesthetics. Critchley works from within the tradition of continental philosophy. He argues that philosophy commences in disappointment, either religious or political. These two axes may be said largely to inform his published work: religious disappointment raises the question of meaning and has to, as he sees it, deal with the problem of nihilism; political disappointment provokes the question of justice and raises the need for a coherent ethics.BiographyCritchley was born on February 26, 1960 at Hertfordshire, London. Growing up in the 70s, Critchley described himself as a hippy. However, he still attended academic high school. He became a fan of the punk rock band Ramones and American Funk and Soul music as a teenager, and gained an interest in poetry and political activism as a young man.Critchley studied philosophy at the University of Essex (BA 1985, PhD 1988) and at the University of Nice (M.Phil. 1987). Among his teachers were Robert Bernasconi, Jay Bernstein, Frank Cioffi, Dominique Janicaud and Onora O'Neill. His M.Phil. thesis dealt with the problem of the overcoming of metaphysics in Heidegger and Carnap; his Ph.D. dissertation was on the ethics of deconstruction in Emmanuel Levinas and Derrida.