2008 EPS Papers (Erdel)

November 22, 2008
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Timothy Erdel

Death and Philosophical Judgment

Abstract: What are the philosophical meanings and implications of human death? How should the inevitable fact of human death inform the philosophical judgments we make? What can we learn from death, and how should that influence our worldview or our metaphilosophical choices? What are some of the specific philosophical problems that might be illumined by reflection on death? Does the brute fact of death in any way support or even privilege a Christian philosophy of life as over against other approaches or outlooks? Might death serve as a call to critical realism in philosophy? This paper will trace the meaning of death for philosophy by drawing on a fairly diverse array of sources, including Genesis, Ecclesiastes, Socrates, the Stoics, Dr. Samuel Johnson, Hegel, Miguel de Unamuno, Peter Kreeft, and Paul K. Moser.