Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 1, No 2 (2005)

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Walking With Death, Walking With Science, Walking With Living: Philosophical Praxis and Happiness

Frances Gray

Abstract


This paper explores the consequences of acknowledging that we are the dead walking with the dead. I argue that if we take the view that life frames death, rather than the view that death frames life, then we must refigure our living as ethical creatures. Using Aristotle's notion that we become virtuous by practising virtue, I argue that happiness, thought of in terms of ethical living, should temper our attitude to death as the inevitable end we must all encounter. Acknowledgement of our dying and our death enhances the ethical imperative to live virtuously and to promote human flourishing. I adopt a Buddhist reading of death and dying to interpret the Aristotelian perspective.

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