Philosophy of Death

Course Description

There is one thing I can be sure of: I am going to die. But what am I to make of that fact? This course will examine a number of issues that arise once we begin to reflect on our mortality. The possibility that death may not actually be the end is considered. Are we, in some sense, immortal? Would immortality be desirable? Also a clearer notion of what it is to die is examined. What does it mean to say that a person has died? What kind of fact is that? And, finally, different attitudes to death are evaluated. Is death an evil? How? Why? Is suicide morally permissible? Is it rational? How should the knowledge that I am going to die affect the way I live my life?

Philosophy of Death
Professor Shelly Kagan
18 ratings

Video Lectures & Study Materials

# Lecture Play Lecture
1 Course Introduction (46:04) Play Video
2 The Nature of Persons: Dualism vs. Physicalism (41:38) Play Video
3 Arguments for the Existence of the Soul, Part I (45:48) Play Video
4 Introduction to Plato's Phaedo; Arguments for the existence of the soul, Part II (49:04) Play Video
5 Arguments for the existence of the soul, Part III: Free will and near-death experiences (48:02) Play Video
6 Arguments for the existence of the soul, Part IV; Plato, Part I (35:42) Play Video
7 Plato, Part II: Arguments for the immortality of the soul (46:38) Play Video
8 Plato, Part III: Arguments for the immortality of the soul (cont.) (49:54) Play Video
9 Plato, Part IV: Arguments for the immortality of the soul (cont.) (50:21) Play Video
10 Personal identity, Part I: Identity across space and time and the soul theory (49:50) Play Video
11 Personal identity, Part II: The body theory and the personality theory (50:35) Play Video
12 Personal identity, Part III: Objections to the personality theory (51:51) Play Video
13 Personal identity, Part IV; What matters? (48:53) Play Video
14 What matters (cont.); The nature of death, Part I (47:18) Play Video
15 The nature of death (cont.); Believing you will die (44:15) Play Video
16 Dying Alone; The Badness of Death, Part I (49:51) Play Video
17 The Badness of Death, Part II: The Deprivation Account (51:37) Play Video
18 The Badness of Death, Part III; Immortality, Part I (50:35) Play Video
19 Immortality Part II; The Value of Life, Part I (49:01) Play Video
20 The Value of Life, Part II; Other Bad Aspects of Death, Part I (50:40) Play Video
21 Other Bad Aspects of Death, Part II (49:47) Play Video
22 Fear of Death Play Video
24 Suicide, Part I: The Rationality of Suicide (45:19) Play Video
25 Suicide, Part II: Deciding Under Uncertainty (50:16) Play Video
26 Suicide, Part III: The Morality of Suicide and Course Conclusion (47:47) Play Video


Displaying 2 comments:

madnietzschean wrote 12 years ago.

xon-xoff wrote 13 years ago.
A cogent and compelling argument for a rational and reasoned
look at death. I must admit that my views and outlook have
changed as result. Nonetheless, there are claims,
assertions, assumptions made by Pofessor Kagan that can/need
to be deliberated on further. Should make for a most
rewarding exchange.

Thank you very much Prof Kagan & Yale.

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