The essays and book reviews collected in this volume represent philosopher and cultural theorist Mark Kingwell's negotiation of the space where academe collides with the world outside the ivory tower. Kingwell considers cricket and consciousness, dandies and television, the ethics of books and lifestyles, and the possibility of critical theory. He looks to Nietzsche, Husserl and Adorno for inspiration, but also to Cary Grant, Bruce Mau and Jorge Luis Borges. Throughout, Kingwell shows a deep respect for the philosophical enterprise in its peculiar current conditions and a commitment to think sharply and with self-awareness about these conditions. Intended as both a philosophical examination of the commonplace virtues of wonder, civility and common sense, and a realistic illustration of how Kingwell sees them working, the work calls attention to the process of thinking and, by example, encourages the reader to engage in similar philosophizing. The work itself is structured to show the arc of thought, from the more abstract, scholarly examinations of people and ideas, to critical reflections on the impetus for philosophy and its possibilities as a force for change in the world around us. The text reveals the sources and developments of Kingwell's thought and examines the nature and limits of intellectual engagement. It displays Kingwell's political commitment to a hermeneutic form of social democracy by revealing a careful attention to the texture of daily cultural affairs. Arguing for a form of critical engagement without which political action is impossible, Kingwell shows that attention to everyday life is worthwhile both in itself and as a part of a larger philosophical endeavour.