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Idealistic Studies

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published on August 25, 2018

Sami J. Pihlstrom

Death and the Transcendental Subject

This paper discusses the philosophy of death and mortality from a transcendental perspective. I first criticize the metaphysically realistic background assumptions of mainstream analytic approaches to the philosophy of death. Secondly, I defend a transcendentally idealistic approach, drawing attention to how the topic of death can be illuminated by means of the notion of the transcendental subject. Thirdly, I identify a problem in this approach: the transcendental subject needs to recognize its own mortality. Fourthly, I propose a pragmatist way out of this problem. This, however, is no way out of the general issue that mortality as a structural element of the human condition provides us with. Rather, pragmatism (joining forces with transcendental philosophy) can show us a way of living with this condition.

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