Lecture 16 - Dying alone; The badness of death, Part I

author: Shelly Kagan, Department of Philosophy, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Feb. 12, 2010,   recorded: March 2007,   views: 349
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Description

Professor Kagan puts forward the claim that Tolstoy's character Ivan Ilych is quite the typical man in terms of his views on mortality. All of his life he has known that death is imminent but has never really believed it. When he suddenly falls ill and is about to die, the fact of his mortality shocks him. In trying to further access how people think about death, Professor Kagan explores the claim that "we all die alone," presents a variety of arguments against it and ends by considering whether the primary badness of death could lie in the effects on those who are left behind.

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. Martin'sPress, 1969. pp. 473-505

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