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16. Dying alone; The badness of death, Part I

Death (PHIL 176) Professor Kagan puts forward the claim that Tolstoy's character Ivan Ilych is quite the typical man in terms of his views on mortality. All of his life he has known that death is imminent but has never really believed it. When he suddenly falls ill and is about to die, the fact of his mortality shocks him. In trying to further access how people think about death, Professor Kagan explores the claim that "we all die alone," presents a variety of arguments against it and ends by considering whether the primary badness of death could lie in the effects on those who are left behind. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Ilyich's Reaction to Death: Typical, but Why? 01:34 - Chapter 2. Near-Death Experiences as Reminders of Mortality 08:11 - Chapter 3. "Everyone Dies Alone": Common Belief, but Necessary Truth? 13:53 - Chapter 4. Deconstructing the "Dying Alone" Statement 27:59 - Chapter 5. Weaknesses in Interpreting "Dying Alone" as Observation of Human Psychology 34:56 - Chapter 6. Introduction to Value Theory: Is Death Bad? Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: This course was recorded in Spring 2007.
Length: 49:51


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