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Death (The Art of Living) Paperback – 1 May 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (1 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844651649
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844651641
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 13.3 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 461,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"Excellent. A fine example of what popular philosophy can be: wide-ranging and thought-provoking, in little more than 100 pages. May grasps the real paradox of mortality: that the fact of death imbues our life with passion and urgency, but it is that very passion for life that makes death tragic." --Financial Times

"May draws on insights ranging from the Stoics to Heidegger with incursions into famous arguments by Thomas Nagel and Bernard Williams on the way. Yet, May never loses his ability to write clearly and engagingly. Many books on death discuss a wider range of issues. Some discuss clinical definitions of death in order to resolve bioethical issues. Others discuss the morality of killing and whether abortion and euthanasia are cases of murder. This book does neither. It focuses only upon the existential significance of death and on the difference it should make to the way we live our lives. If it spends a lot of time on what may seem in the end to be simple and homely truths it does so because only be considering all the aspects of this issue and by exploring them in depth can the reader be taken on a journey that will truly be one of discovery and inspiration." --Metapsychology

"Death is scholarly enough for the academic interested in a critical examination of theory and argument concerning death, while at the same time accessible enough for the reader interested in an introduction to philosophical thought on the topic, and to philosophical thought in general. All readers will appreciate this book's ability to encourage and compel its reader to reflect on life and death in a philosophical and personal way. It is a fine achievement to make philosophy personally meaningful, and Death succeeds in this regard." --Philosophy in Review

About the Author

Todd May is Kathryn and Calhoun Lemon Professor of Philosophy at Clemson University, South Carolina.

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By PhilosopherZeus on 11 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a deep and careful meditation on how the fragility of life affects us. What makes this book unique, is that it takes ideas from philosophy (such as Martin Heidegger, Thomas Nagel, and Lucretius) and from religion (such as Christianity, Buddhism, and Taoism), and interweaves them in meaningful ways that anyone can understand and pull meaning from. What May does in this book is present a wonderful - and sometimes personal - journey through some major themes and ideas of what death means to us and how it affects us, whilst drawing on different philosophical and religious views to add substance and perspective. The journey he takes the reader on gives them time to consider the implications for their own lives (there were several times when reading this book when I had to set it aside and think through what I had just read, not because it was difficult to understand, but because it was giving me a new way to look at and interpret what life meant). This is philosophy that has been humanized and made relevant for all of us.

One of the ways May gets us to ponder what life and death means, is by exploring what personal immortality might imply for how we would pursue life - how would being immortal affect how we lived? This exercise he presents to the reader adds to the insights of how we view and interpret mortal life.

If you want to explore and understand better how you think about and deal with death, then this book comes highly recommended. Regardless of your philosophical or religious orientation there is something here for all of us to learn from. You will not look at life the same way after.
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7 of 16 people found the following review helpful By BB on 15 May 2010
Format: Paperback
Very deep, and thought provoking. Kind of makes you think about death in many new ways.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Finding Meaning in Life by pondering Death 11 Sept. 2011
By PhilosopherZeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a deep and careful meditation on how the fragility of life affects us. What makes this book unique, is that it takes ideas from philosophy (such as Martin Heidegger, Thomas Nagel, and Lucretius) and from religion (such as Christianity, Buddhism, and Taoism), and interweaves them in meaningful ways that anyone can understand and pull meaning from. What May does in this book is present a wonderful - and sometimes personal - journey through some major themes and ideas of what death means to us and how it affects us, whilst drawing on different philosophical and religious views to add substance and perspective. The journey he takes the reader on gives them time to consider the implications for their own lives (there were several times when reading this book when I had to set it aside and think through what I had just read, not because it was difficult to understand, but because it was giving me a new way to look at and interpret what life meant). This is philosophy that has been humanized and made relevant for all of us.

One of the ways May gets us to ponder what life and death means, is by exploring what personal immortality might imply for how we would pursue life - how would being immortal affect how we lived? This exercise he presents to the reader adds to the insights of how we view and interpret mortal life.

If you want to explore and understand better how you think about and deal with death, then this book comes highly recommended. Regardless of your philosophical or religious orientation there is something here for all of us to learn from. You will not look at life the same way after.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Suggestive Ideas on Death and its Meaning for Life 26 May 2013
By Shalom Freedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Spinoza said " A free man thinks of nothing less than Death,and his meditation is a meditation on Life'. One argument however Todd May makes in this book is that it Death itself that gives urgency and meaning to life. And he goes even farther than this and makes an effort to show why Immortality would not be Paradise but instead an impossible burden and emptiness.'Forever' is just too long a time and every human relationship in it would lose its meaning and importance. Finitude makes Life precious and gives it a poignancy and beauty. Still the urge to immortality is one of the great driving forces of life and certainly spurs many of the creative efforts of Humanity. Like the idea of the Soul the idea of Immortality seems to be something human beings need to believe in, need to hope for despite all argument and evidence against it.
If God can create a stone too great for God to lift and then lift it perhaps God can make us immortal in ways we human beings cannot understand.
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