Seize The Moment Podcast

Samir Chopra Talks The Philosophy of Anxiety

On episode 59, we welcome philosopher Samir Chopra to discuss the philosophy of anxiety.

Samir Chopra is professor of philosophy at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. He is the author of several books, including A Legal Theory for Autonomous Artificial Agents (2011). For more on Chopra visit his official web site.

Samir argued that all of us, no matter how beautiful or successful, are filled with deep anxiety. Dread and fear provide the links which unite us, offering us an opportunity to find solace in seeing ourselves in each other.

Anxiety will always be a fact of life, but we can use it: to learn about ourselves, others, and the world in general. Curiosity and anxiety are inextricably linked, for to learn is to be afraid and seek comfort in understanding. We can allow the fear to envelop us or we can use to foster our maturity.

Topics covered with Samir Chopra:

  • Importance and utility of anxiety in self-discovery.
  • How philosophy helped him cope with the untimely deaths of his parents.
  • The influence our beliefs have on our perceptions and conceptions of the world.
  • Why emotional intensity should be redirected rather than suppressed.
  • The universality and inevitability of existential anxiety.
  • Human diversity and our inherent inability to fully capture an individual’s essence.
  • The fluctuating history of our understanding of mental illness.
  • How normality is used to sustain power structures.
  • Overcoming false dichotomies to see the strengths in our weaknesses and vice versa.
  • The sense of relief and freedom accompanying one’s acceptance of the inherent meaningless of the universe.


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