The Power of Death: Retroactivity, Narrative, and Interest

In Robert L. Perkins (ed.), International Kierkegaard Commentary: Prefaces/Writing Sampler and Three Discourses on Imagined Occasions. Mercer University Press (2006)
This paper contrasts Kierkegaard's response to Epicurean indifference to death in "At a Graveside" with attempts in contemporary analytic philosophy to overcome Epicurus ' challenge to the rationality of fearing death. I argue that attempts by Nagel, Pitcher, Feinberg etc. to show why death is a harm rely on a narrative understanding of life that, according to Kierkegaard, is unavailable with respect to one's own death. Kierkegaard's approach, by contrast, involves becoming phenomenally co-present with one's own death via a specific mode of "earnest" contemplation.
Keywords Kierkegaard  Harmfulness of Death  "At a Graveside"Epicurus  Narrative
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