Monday, August 31, 2009

philosophy and mortality

Philosophy teaches us, among other things, how to die: that was today's main lesson, on the first day of Intro to Philosophy. (See Simon Critchley's Book of Dead Philosophers for palatably-told details.)

Douglas Adams' whale didn't learn that lesson, but of course he didn't really need to: his own demise was quick and unexpected. That's true enough for plenty of humans, too, but if we're being brutally honest with ourselves most of us will admit our natural mortality. Then, we must seek some form or other of accommodation to the unpleasant fact. Religion is the adaptation of choice for most people in this culture. Philosophy thus has a lot of catching up to do. Our work is cut out, stay tuned.

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