Death Gives Meaning to Life

In Mark D. White (ed.), Doctor Strange and Philosophy. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 17–24 (2018)
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This chapter focuses on Martin Heidegger, who describes people's lives as “indifferent” until they experience angst, the genuine fear resulting from the realization that death is inevitable. There are many ways to experience angst. It could result from a near‐death experience (like Doctor Stephen Strange's car accident), the death of a loved one, or even from exposure to a work of art—such as the film Doctor Strange. Philosophers have argued for decades about Heidegger's affiliation with the Nazis, some claiming that one should not read his philosophy because of this taint. A similar issue also arises when Strange discovers that the Ancient One had been drawing power from the Dark Dimension to extend her life. Once the Ancient One recognizes that Doctor Strange could replace her, she is ready to accept death, even though she prolongs the final moment to enjoy her last sight of snow.



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Sander H. Lee
Keene State College

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