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Political Theory on Death and Dying


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Memory and Mortality in Homer's Odyssey 2. Confucian Authority and the Politics of Caring 3. "Every Form of Death": Thucydides on Death's Political Presence 4. Mortality, Recollection, and Human Dignity in Plato 5. Good Old Age: Aristotle and the "Virtues" of Aging 6. The Buddha, Death, and Taxes 7. Flourishing toward Dissolution: Epicurus on the Resilience of Tranquility 8. The Political Philosophy of Death in Laozi 9. The Bhagavad Gita and Paradox of Death 10. Life and Death as a Political Act: Cicero and the Stoics 11. Prenatal and Posthumous Nonexistence: Lucretius on the Harmlessness of Death 12. The Road to Freedom: Seneca on Fear, Reason, and Death 13. Continuity Without Corruption: The Political Theology of Death in St. Augustine 14. Jihad for the City: How Alfarabi Discourages, and Encourages, Death in Battle 15. Techniques for the Social Self: Abu Hamid al-Ghazali and the Remembrance of Death 16. Death and Dying, Mortality and Immortality in Moses Maimonides 17. The Young, the Old, and the Immortal: Machiavelli on Political Health and Aging 18. Death in Montaigne's Essays 19. When "Every Third Thought Shall Be My Grave": Shakespeare's King Lear and The Tempest 20. Francis Bacon on "the Dolours of Death" 21. Descartes On How We Should Relate to Death 22. "The Wages of Sin": Morality and Mortality in John Milton's Paradise Lost 23. A Liberation From Fear: Benedict de Spinoza on Religion, Philosophy, and Mortality 24. Thomas Hobbes on the Uses and Disadvantages of Death for Political Life 25. The Role of Death and Eternity in Locke's Political Philosophy 26. Montesquieu on Death, Liberty, and Law 27. Can Philosophy Console Us?: Hume's Understanding of Mortality 28. Jean-Jacques Rousseau on the Fear of Death and the Happiness of Life 29. Adam Smith and Dying Peacefully 30. Nature, Second Nature, and Supernature: Death and Consolation in the Thought of Edmund Burke 31. Kant on Death and the Purpose of Human Life 32. Overcoming the Mortal Diseases and Short Lives of Republican Governments: Publius and Political Immortality 33. Hegel on Death and the Spirit 34. Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death: Soren Kierkegaard's Philosophy of Love 35. Immortality and Angst in Tocqueville's America 36. "What is Odious in Death Is not Death Itself, but the Act of Dying": John Stuart Mill on the Political Philosophy of Death and Dying 37. Death and Dynamism in Nietzsche's Political Philosophy 38. Facing Death Fearlessly, So Others Can Live Without Fear: Gandhi's Philosophy as Art of Dying 39. "An Earthly Immortality": Arendt on Mortality, Politics, and Political Death 40. Death in Martin Heidegger's Being and Time 41. Make Live and Let Die: Michel Foucault, Biopower, and the Art of Dying Well 42. Beauvoir's Philosophy of Death and Aging 43. Metamorphoses: Gilles Deleuze on Living and Death 44. Jacques Derrida on Death, the Death Penalty, and Mourning 45. Alasdair MacIntyre and the Twilight of the Virtues

About the Author

Erin A. Dolgoy is assistant professor of philosophy and assistant professor of politics & law at Rhodes College. Her work has been published in Perspectives on Political Science, Utopian Studies (with Kimberly Hurd Hale), and Political Science Reviewer (with Kimberly Hurd Hale). She is co-editor (with Kimberly Hurd Hale and Bruce Peabody) of Short Stories and Political Philosophy: Power, Prose, and Persuasion (2019).Kimberly Hurd Hale is associate professor of politics at Coastal Carolina University. She is author of Francis Bacon's New Atlantis in the Foundation of Modern Political Thought (2013), The Politics of Perfection: Technology and Creation in Literature and Film (2016), and co-editor (with Erin A. Dolgoy and Bruce Peabody) of Short Stories and Political Philosophy: Power, Prose, and Persuasion (2019).Bruce Peabody is professor of government and politics at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is the co-editor (with Gloria Pastorino) of Beyond the Living Dead: Essays on the Romero Legacy (2021), co-editor (with Kimberly Hurd Hale and Erin A. Dolgoy) of Short Stories and Political Philosophy: Power, Prose, and Persuasion (2019), and co-author (with Krista Jenkins) of Where Have all the Heroes Gone: The Changing Nature of American Valor (2017).


"Through its chronological approach, and dedication of each chapter to a different classical text or philosopher, this multi-author volume provides a very useful way of getting at the topic of death in the history of philosophy."Adam Buben, Leiden University"An extraordinary collection-45 essays on the thought of thinkers from Homer to MacIntyre on death and dying, broadly understood to include aging and after-death possibilities. Always informative-often insightful-frequently provocative."Michael Zuckert, Reeves Dreux Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame"In the year of COVID-19 comes this timely new book about one of the most fundamental issues in philosophy: death and dying. The Political Theory on Death and Dying is a wonderful compendium of how 45 of the greatest philosophers from Homer to MacIntyre have tackled the problem of death, and, more importantly, its antipode: life! This book will challenge readers to reconsider how they live their lives in the face of the final horizon. Young or old, this is a must-read book. I highly recommend it!"C. Bradley Thompson, Executive Director of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism and Professor of Political Science, Clemson University"By thoughtfully engaging writings on death from multiple cultures, historical epochs, and thinkers in diverse religious and political traditions, this collection will be a definitive resource for anyone interested in the breadth of human reflection on this universal topic."Brian Howell, Professor of Anthropology, Wheaton College

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