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On Death


“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” 
― Mark Twain

In this salon we will explore philosophical and psychological questions concerning the nature of death. Among them we will consider if we ever truly die, or if we merely enter a different state of existence, how our mortality impacts the way we live our lives, what it means to die a good death, especially in relation to Socratic philosophy, as well as the benefits or problems associated with positive and negative perceptions of death. We will also explore certain philosophical arguments such as Plato's Cyclical Argument (summarized below.) 

Speaker to be announced at a later date. 

Location upon RSVP

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Plato's Cyclical Argument

"Socrates mentions an ancient theory holding that just as the souls of the dead in the underworld come from those living in this world, the living souls come back from those of the dead (70c-d).  He uses this theory as the inspiration for his first argument, which may be reconstructed as follows:

1. All things come to be from their opposite states: for example, something that comes to be “larger” must necessarily have been “smaller” before (70e-71a).

2. Between every pair of opposite states there are two opposite processes: for example, between the pair “smaller” and “larger” there are the processes “increase” and “decrease” (71b).

3. If the two opposite processes did not balance each other out, everything would eventually be in the same state: for example, if increase did not balance out decrease, everything would keep becoming smaller and smaller (72b).

4.  Since “being alive” and “being dead” are opposite states, and “dying” and “coming-to-life” are the two opposite processes between these states, coming-to-life must balance out dying (71c-e).

5. Therefore, everything that dies must come back to life again (72a)."

Excerpt from Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy





Image Attribution: Andrea Mantegna [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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