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Death and Mortality in Contemporary Philosophy - Bernard N. Schumacher

Death and Mortality in Contemporary Philosophy

Paperback Published: 30th September 2010
ISBN: 9780521171199
Number Of Pages: 270

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This book contributes to current bioethical debates by providing a critical analysis of the philosophy of human death. Bernard N. Schumacher discusses contemporary philosophical perspectives on death, creating a dialogue between phenomenology, existentialism and analytic philosophy.

He also examines the ancient philosophies that have shaped our current ideas about death. His analysis focuses on three fundamental problems:

  1. the definition of human death,
  2. the knowledge of mortality and of human death as such
  3. the question of whether death is 'nothing' to us or, on the contrary, whether it can be regarded as an absolute or relative evil.
Drawing on scholarship published in four languages and from three distinct currents of thought, this volume represents a comprehensive and systematic study of the philosophy of death, one that provides a provocative basis for discussions of the bioethics of human mortality.

"Schumacher (Univ. de Fribourg, Switzerland) here makes a significant contribution to biomedical ethics concerning the question of death... The book will benefit those interested in biomedical ethics and those looking for a good point of origin in furthering the philosophical dialogue on death... Recommended..." -J. R. Couch, Keene State College, CHOICE "Death and Mortality in Contemporary Philosophy is a work of striking originality, well-crafted and rich in interesting ideas." --George Lazaroiu, PhD /IISHSS, New York, Review of Contemporary Philosophy "...rich and documentation is impressive..." --Yves Laberge, Quebec, Laval theologique et philosophique

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
Human Personal Death
Definitions of Death and What We Mean by Personp. 13
Introductionp. 13
Biological Deathp. 17
So-called Personal Deathp. 20
The Anthropological Challenge of Neocortical Deathp. 31
Ethics as the Criterion for Defining Deathp. 38
Diversity of Definitions of Death in a Secular Ethicp. 45
Conclusionp. 48
Theory of Knowledge about Death
Scheler's Intuitive Knowledge of Mortalityp. 51
Introductionp. 51
Modern Man's Attitude Towards Death Itselfp. 53
The Certainty of Mortality Based on Observation and Induction or on Intuitionp. 54
Problematic Questions Raised by Scheler's Thesis of an Intuitive Knowledge of Mortalityp. 58
Heidegger's Being-Towards-Deathp. 61
The Distinction Between Ontical and Ontologicalp. 62
The Impossibility of Experiencing My Own Deathp. 64
The Death of Another as a Possible Object of Thanatological Knowledgep. 68
Being-Towards-Deathp. 72
Critiquep. 80
Is Mortality the Object of Foreknowledge?p. 85
Inductive Knowledge of Death and Jean-Paul Sartrep. 91
The Realist and Idealist Concepts of Deathp. 92
The Expectation of My Deathp. 95
Death as Another's Victoryp. 99
Death as a Situation-limitp. 107
Conclusionp. 109
Knowledge of Mortality Is Inseparable from the Relation to the Otherp. 112
Death as the Object of Experiencep. 117
Mutual Exclusiveness of the States of Life and Deathp. 122
The Meaning of the Expression "My Death"p. 127
Death in Lifep. 131
Love as the Unveiling of What Is Unthinkable about Deathp. 139
The Phenomenology of Deathp. 140
Does Death Mean Nothing To Us?
The "Nothingness of Death": Epicurus and His Followersp. 151
Presuppositions of the Epicurean Thesis of the "Nothingness of Death": Materialism, Hedonism, and Expenentiahsmp. 151
"Death Is Nothing to Us"p. 153
The Ancientsp. 155
Modern Thinkers: Montaigne, Feuerbach, Schopenhauer, and Othersp. l65
Discussion of Experientialism and the Need for a Subjectp. 168
The A Priori Character of the Epicurean Assertion that Death Is Nothing to Usp. 168
First Series of Examples Against Experientialism: Comparisons Between Two States of Lifep. l71
Second Series of Examples Against Experientialism: Comparisons Between a State of Life and a State of Deathp. 174
Third Set of Possible Arguments Against Experientialism: Posthumous Evilsp. 175
The Subject of Posthumous Evilsp. 177
Death: An Evil of Privation Of What Does Death Deprive the Subject?p. l82
Is Death Always an Evil?p. 184
Defense of the Characterization of Death as an Evil in View of the Peaceful State of Prenatal Nonexistencep. 206
Conclusionp. 213
Bibliographyp. 221
Index of Namesp. 249
Index of Conceptsp. 255
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521171199
ISBN-10: 0521171199
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 270
Published: 30th September 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.24  x 1.778
Weight (kg): 0.363