Death: Philosophical Soundings / Edition 1

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No one who reads this book will ever again think of their own death in the same way.

Fingarette faces up to the reality of death and demolishes some popular errors in our thinking about death. He examines the metaphors which mislead us: death as parting, death as sleep, immortality as the denial of death, and selflessness as a kind of consolation.

He thinks through some of the more illuminating metaphors: death as the end of the world for me, death as the conclusion of a story, life as ceremony, and life as a tourist visit to earth. Fingarette goes on to discuss living a future without end and living a present without bounds. The author offers no facile consolation, but he identifies the true root of fear of death, and explains how the meaning of death can be reconceived.

"All of Herbert Fingarette's books are enormously personal voyages that explore with philosophical honesty real life dilemmas: self-deception, cultural alterity, the role of ritual, the achievement of personhood, justifications for alcoholism, and now death. One of Fingarette's most important career accomplishments". -- Roger T. Ames Philosophy East & West

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812693300
  • Publisher: Open Court Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 2/5/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. 1 The Meaning of Death 1
What Is There To Be Explored? 3
1 Death at the Mirror Image of Life 5
Metaphors That Deceive 13
2 Separation, Sleep 15
3 Immortality, Selflessness 21
Metaphors That Enlighten 27
4 The World as My Life 29
5 Life as Story 39
6 Life as a Visit to Earth 47
7 The Ceremony of Life 56
Living in Time 65
8 Living a Future without End 67
9 Living a Present without Bounds 73
Perspective on Life and Death 81
10 "Before, I had heard - Now I see" Job 42:5 83
Pt. 2 Other Voices, Other Visions 91
Leo Tolstoy 97
Blaise Pascal 107
Miguel de Unamuno 111
Bertrand Russell 117
Chuang Tzu 119
Eugene Ionesco 127
Albert Camus 133
Bhagavad Gita 139
Arthur Schopenhauer 143
Sigmund Freud 149
Marcus Aurelius 159
Michel de Montaigne 165
David Hume 169
Index 174
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