How to be Dead and Not Care: A Defense of Epicurus
Rosenbaum (Stephen)
Source: Fischer - The Metaphysics of Death
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction

  1. The prospect of death is at best a disquieting annoyance; it is at worst a terrifying mystery. However we react to the prospects of our deaths, we try to suppress our thoughts about death, and live as if our time were endless.
  2. Long ago, Epicurus offered a remedy for our attitudes toward our deaths. He apparently argued that since death is neither good nor bad for the person dead and since the fear of that which is not bad for one is groundless, it is unreasonable to fear death; consequently, no one should fear death.
  3. If Epicurus were correct in this, we should perhaps try to revise our attitudes toward our deaths. Without regard to what we can do or what we should do about our attitudes, I wish to discuss Epicurus's view that one's death is not bad for one.
  4. Since Thomas Nagel's article, "Death," published in 1970, Epicurus's view has come under strong attack from various sources, but has not yet received a sound defense. I undertake to supply that defense.

Philosophers Index Abstract
  1. The Epicurean view that one's own death is not bad for one has recently come under increasing and powerful attack.
  2. Professor Rosenbaum defends Epicurus's view on this point.
  3. He interprets Epicurus's view, offers positive argument for it, and critically assesses the recent arguments against it.


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  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
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