Monday, April 7, 2008

Spring, Week 1 Meeting -- Part V

The Features of Death

We ended the discussion by briefly covering some of the features of death that Heidegger discusses, with particular emphasis on how the seemingl
y 'personal' character of these features fits with Prof. Haugeland's interpretation of death. We saw that (being-towards-)death is 'non-relational' in the sense that each person who confronts the death of dasein, the breakdown of his or her way of life, confronts it as a breakdown for him or her, and so takes the responsibility for that upon him- or herself. This also shows how (being-towards-)death can be individualising: an individual case of dasein has to take responsibility for his or her way of life. If dasein is a way of life, then it is not the kind of thing that can take responsibility. But the people who lead that way of life can take responsibility for it, and when they do so, they are individualised as people who lead that way of life.

We did not discuss all of the features of death in detail, although we did touch on most of them. Here is the chart we had on the board summarising these (click on the chart to see it full-size):

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