Philosophical Papers 44 (1):61-81 (2015)

Ward E. Jones
Rhodes University
In this paper, I am concerned with elucidating and expanding our attitudes toward our own death. As it is, our common attitudes toward our death are the following: we fear our premature death, and we dread our inevitable death. These attitudes are rational, but I want to argue that our attitudes toward death should be more complicated than this. A condition upon our value, our preciousness, as creatures is that we are vulnerable, and our vulnerability is, at bottom, a vulnerability to death. A corollary of this is that we could not be loved, either by ourselves or by others, for one cannot love—be concerned for—a being invulnerable to death. As a consequence, death plays a deep and abiding role in our value systems. Our susceptibility to premature and inevitable death is a condition upon our being valuable creatures and, in turn, it is a condition upon our being loved. Given the high value that we place on being valuable creatures who deserve love, we should equally place a high value on the const..
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DOI 10.1080/05568641.2015.1014540
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