Death in Mind: Life, Meaning and Mortality

In Travis Timmerman & Michael Cholbi (eds.), Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 245-252 (2021)

Kathy Behrendt
Wilfrid Laurier University
Does thinking about our death help or hinder us? I will approach this question by looking at which portions of a life can bear meaning, i.e. whether meaning is local (something that attaches to parts of a life taken in isolation from one another) or global (resulting from the combination of, or interrelations among, events in life as a whole). I present two versions of the “part life” view of meaning and two versions of the “whole life” view. I show how these views yield different outlooks on the value of keeping death in mind when pursuing meaning in life. They also differ as to whether they encourage us to think of our death negatively, positively, or with indifference.
Keywords death  meaning in life
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