Lecture 23 - How to live given the certainty of death

author: Shelly Kagan, Department of Philosophy, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Feb. 12, 2010,   recorded: April 2007,   views: 5263
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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In this lecture, Professor Kagan invites students to pose the question of how one should live life knowing that it will certainly end in death. He also explores the issue of how we should set our goals and how we should go about achieving them, bearing in mind the time constraints. Other questions raised are how this ultimately affects the quality of our work and our accomplishments, as well as how we decide what is worth doing in life.

Reading assignment:

Kaufmann, Walter. "Death Without Dread." In Existentialism, Religion, and Death: Thirteen Essays. New York: New American Library, 1976. pp. 224-248


Figures 23.1-23.4 [PDF]

"To the Parcae" by Friedrich Holderlin, translated by Walter Kaufmann, from EXISTENTIALISM, RELIGION AND DEATH by Walter Kaufmann, copyright © 1976 by Walter Kaufmann. Used by permission of Dutton Signet, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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