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A Being-towards-Death - the Vado mori

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Title A Being-towards-Death - the Vado mori
Creator Dunne, Michael
Subject Philosophy
Description The artistic output of Damien Hirst, especially his most recent work, the jewel
encrusted âSkullâ makes sure that Nietzscheâs âunbiddenâ guest remains somewhat
within Western consciousness, despite the best efforts of modernity to exorcise
the prospect of mortality. The theme of death is of course well inserted within the
philosophical tradition. Plato writes in the Phaedo: âThe one aim of those who
practice philosophy in the proper manner is to practice for dying and deathâ, 2 and
for Schopenhauer âdeath is the inspiration for philosophyâ. 3 Much of the efforts of
the philosophers in the face of death has been to âovercomeâ the emotions
associated with it, especially fear, terror, disgust. One thinks of the efforts of
Epicurus to free his fellow man from the fears of death and of the punishments of
the afterlife through a calm acceptance of ultimate dissolution at death. The Stoic
insistence that we should remember that we are mortal, the memento mori as an
ethical rejoinder to the hedonism of carpe diem, reemerges
in renaissance and
early modern times. From the history of philosophy of the nineteenth and
twentieth centuries two philosophical movements were particularly influential in
associating the acceptance of finitude with authentic human existence, namely
existentialism and phenomenology.
Publisher Department of Philosophy NUIM
Date 2007
Type Article
Format application/pdf
Dunne, Michael (2007) A Being-towards-Death - the Vado mori. Maynooth Philosophical Papers (4). pp. 1-16.