Lecture 15 - The nature of death (cont.); Believing you will die

author: Shelly Kagan, Department of Philosophy, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Feb. 12, 2010,   recorded: March 2007,   views: 299
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Description

The lecture explores the question of the state of being dead. Even though the most logical claim seems to be that when a person stops P-functioning he or she is dead, a more careful consideration must allow for exceptions, such as when one is asleep or in a coma. Professor Kagan then suggests that on some level nobody believes that he or she is going to die. As a case in point, he takes Tolstoy's famous character Ivan Ilych.

Reading assignment:

Tolstoy, Leo. The Death of Ivan Ilych

Edwards, Paul. "Existentialism and Death: A Survey of Some Confusions and Absurdities." In Philosophy, Science and Method: Essays in Honor of Ernest Nagel. Edited by Sidney Morgenbesser, Patrick Suppes and Morton White. New York: St. Matrin’s Press, 1969. pp. 473-505

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