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Death: A Philosophical Inquiry by Paul Fairfield

By Paul Fairfield

From Nietzsche's pronouncement that "God is dead" to Camus' argument that suicide is the elemental query of philosophy, the idea that of demise performs an enormous function in existential phenomenology, achieving from Kierkegaard to Heidegger and Marcel.

This publication explores the phenomenology of dying and provides a distinct manner into the phenomenological culture. Paul Fairfield examines the subsequent key topics:

the smooth denial of loss of life Heidegger's very important idea of 'being-toward-death' and its centrality in phenomenological principles, akin to authenticity and lifestyles the philosophical importance of loss of life rituals: what explains the valuable towards ritual round dying, and what's its goal and that means? loss of life in an age of secularism the philosophy and ethics of suicide loss of life as a secret instead of a philosophical challenge to be solved the connection among desire and death.

Death: A Philosophical Inquiry is key studying for college kids of phenomenology and existentialism, and also will be of curiosity to scholars in similar fields resembling faith, anthropology and the scientific humanities.

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This also is grief work, and it is a concentrated form of the task of living itself. What distinguishes the denial of death from other forms of denial of which psychologists speak is that, except in extreme cases, the former is not a medical phenomenon but an existential one. It is neither a stage nor a symptom of mental disturbance but an existential crisis of the first order. It can involve profound anxiety and suffering, and it is eminently sane. Suffering itself, including its most profound forms, is not usually a symptom but belongs to the human condition and calls forth whatever capacities of mind that we possess.

If he cannot get over an experience and have done with it, this kind of indigestion is as much physiological as is the other—and often in fact merely a consequence of the other. Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals, III sec. 17, p. 129 30 Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 97. 31 Cited in McNees, Dying, 12. 32 George Santayana, “For These Once Mine,” in Complete Poems of George Santayana, ed. William G. Holzberger (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1979), 273. 33 Irvin Yalom, Existential Psychotherapy (New York: Basic Books, 1980), 40.

The denial of death 33 24 Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals, ed. Walter Kaufmann, trans. W. Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale (New York: Vintage, 1969), II sec. 24, p. 96. In a discussion of Heidegger, Michael Fox notes: Thinking about death is not fleeing from the world; refusing to think about death, rather, is fleeing from life and from oneself. In this way, Heidegger returns to the wisdom taught long ago by Socrates: Life is a process of learning how to face death properly. Fox, The Remarkable Existentialists, 163 25 Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript, 71, 149, 195.

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