An Ontological Study of Death
From Hegel to Heidegger
By (author) Sean Ireton
Ontological Study of Death by Sean Ireton
Book DescriptionIn An Ontological Study of Death: From Hegel to Heidegger, Sean Ireton examines conceptions of death as manifested in German Literary Studies and philosophy from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century, expanding on thanatological theories that distinguish between a metaphysical and an ontological view of human finitude. Whereas metaphysics separates life from death and posits a transcendent reality beyond the physical world, the ontological perspective integrates death into the very core of being where it functions as a fundamental phenomenon of life. Arguing that the dialectical thinking of Hegel and Holderlin erases the metaphysical paradigm of death and sets the stage for the existential interpretations advanced by Nietzsche, Rilke, and Heidegger, Ireton maintains that each of these authors ultimately seeks to incorporate the traditional realm of nonbeing into the heart of existence. Framed by the opposing philosophies of Hegel, who deems that death has little personal meaning but is vital for the life of Spirit, and Heidegger, who converts death into the determining factor of selfhood, Ireton's study finds common ground in the way death is viewed as the promise of possibility, freedom and wholeness. Though primarily focused on the Germanic tradition, Ireton's study also addresses the modern French philosophical treatment of death by Blanchot, Kojeve, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and Foucault in the wake of their German predecessors. Ireton concludes by placing the dialectical and existential views discussed in his study within the context of modern thanatology, specifically demonstrating how themes of human finitude and freedom have a direct bearing on the current debate surrounding the dignity of death and the right to die.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780820703961
(228mm x 152mm x mm)
Imprint: Duquesne University Press
Publisher: Duquesne University Press
Publish Date: 1-May-2007
Country of Publication: United States
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