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The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination Paperback – Apr 12 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (April 12 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019991737X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199917372
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 2.3 x 15.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #323,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"As various scholars argue in 'The Thief of Time' a collection of essays on procrastination, ranging from the resolutely theoretical to the surprisingly practical - the tendency raises fundamental philosophical and psychological issues." --The New Yorker

"This collection is good reading for anyone who would like to do philosophy on the subject of procrastination or who seeks to procrastinate her work by reading interesting things." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"[This book] deals in fresh ways with well-known philosophical problems: will and rationality and their weaknesses, vice and virtue, identity, the nature of lived time. And more importantly, Andreou and White's collection often weds these questions to ordinary struggles and anxieties - lucidly and sometimes enjoyably.... All in all, 'The Thief of Time' does two important things. It explores standard philosophical problems with rigour and erudition. And it examines a widespread, human, all-too-human failing with sensitivity, clarity and practicality. In this, Andreou and White's anthology rewards a careful, patient reading." --The Philosopher's Magazine

About the Author

Chrisoula Andreou is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Utah. Mark D. White is Professor in the Department of Political Science, Economics, and Philosophy at the College of Staten Island, CUNY.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa36b7af8) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa34df264) out of 5 stars thief of time indeed Nov. 21 2011
By DW - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The title of this book was particularly appropriate - I couldn't put it down. A serious look at philosophical underpinnings, approached from wide variety of backgrounds. An in depth approach to a topic which is so often trivialised or commercialised. Outstanding.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa35548d0) out of 5 stars Interesting reading, but heavy going Sept. 1 2013
By Fenimore - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book based on a recommendation from a weekly web newsletter I receive, and true to form, the book is actually a very interesting collection of essays on the nature of procrastination. I would have given this four stars to say "I like it" if it had even SOME sense of humor about the phenomenon, but, alas, it is a quite serious philosophical tome.

That said, the book is very much worth reading. There are discourses on procrastination from the standpoints of biology, psychology, history, anthropology and, of course, philosophy -- The essays look at topics like: Why do people procrastinate? Is procrastination a bad thing? Can procrastination drive creativity? This is NOT a book one will sit down and read in one sitting. It is sometimes densely written; it is moderately academic/intellectual in its approach (not a self-help book!); and it is nearly always thought-provoking. At the risk of making a time joke, I definitely believe this book is worth finding the time to read. It just takes some work and dedication to get through it all.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3466114) out of 5 stars I'm an expert procrastinator so I have dabbled in reading ... Nov. 14 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm an expert procrastinator so I've read to learn more about this problem that seems almost everyone encounters during their lives. Most books on procrastination can't touch the level of understanding this one provides on the subject. Most will say don't procrastinate by just doing whatever you want to do now. Simple enough, but you can't accomplish everything you want to do now. You have to have detailed plans and months, sometimes years of persistent preparation and working at something to achieve some goals. I've only read about 40 pages so far but have learned a lot already. A few points that stand out - Procrastination has been around since ancient times; Think of present choices as effecting your will to make the correct future choices; procrastination occurs most when it does not immediately effect one's future choices; for will to operate the discounted value of prospective rewards in the future must be greater than the discounted value of the present impulse; Procrastination comes down to the choices you make in the present moment; procrastination is basically the reptile part of your brain battling the frontal lobe, one says to lay in the shade the other wants to achieve abstract goals in the future. This stuff is pure gold.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa343c54c) out of 5 stars Five Stars April 8 2015
By A. Nag - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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