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Title: The fear of death : between Plato and Heidegger
Authors: Casha, Brenda (2020)
Keywords: Plato -- Criticism and interpretation
Heidegger, Martin, 1889-1976 -- Criticism and interpretation
Fear of death
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: Casha, B. (2020). The fear of death: between Plato and Heidegger (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: Death seems to be feared and grieved, not only by us human beings, but also by many other living organisms. It is a subject that most people try to avoid speaking about or discuss, but is death really something to be feared, or is this fear just an illusion? ‘Who knoweth if to die be but to live, and that called life by mortals be but death?’, asks Euripides. Plato viewed death as the only salvation of the soul from the material body, because true wisdom is only achieved at death. In Phaedo, Plato argues that the study of philosophy is the study of death, or ‘melete thanatou’; a kind of catharsis of the human being. It is through philosophy that one separates his body from the soul, and this is exactly what happens when dying; the mortal body separates from the immortal soul. Therefore, if one studies philosophy, then one is prepared for death and should accept it joyfully. On the other hand, Martin Heidegger argues for a different outlook on death. He sets out to understand what it really means to be, and in his Being and Time, he argues that time leads to Dasein’s death, and therefore time is slowly killing Dasein. This is simply because Being is time, and time is finite. He suggests that Dasein needs to confront the reality of its own mortality by acknowledging its Being-towards-death, because only when one acknowledges and accepts death, will one break through the fallenness and lives an authentic and free existence. By means of comparing Plato’s philosophy of death to Heidegger’s, I plan to find truth to the question of whether death is something to be feared or not. Are there logically compelling reasons to fear death? This question stems from understanding what it really means to die. Is death nothing more than just the disintegration of our material body? As a result of attempting to answer these questions, this dissertation could also provide as an insight into the similarities and differences between ancient notions of death and existential-phenomenological ones.
Description: B.A.(HONS)PHIL.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2020
Dissertations - FacArtPhi - 2020

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