From Poison to Cow Dung - A Quick History of Philosophers' Deaths

For all the diversity of their thought and the uniqueness of their creativity, there's at least one thing all philosophers have in common: eventually they all die. It's like we're cursed! :)

Unlike religion, which seeks to provide comfort, solace and hope to its followers, regardless of the truth of the matter, philosophy approaches the subject of death quite differently: it is better to confront death in the face, and learn to deal with it, than to hide and delude oneself with agreeable fantasies and half-baked made-up stories.

The recognition of our mortality creates the possibility of living authentically and meaningfully because the fragility of life imposes on the living the responsibility to live well while living is still possible.

Another thing many philosophers have in common: interesting deaths ranging the spectrum from the traumatic and the violent to the ridiculous and the ironic. In the following short excerpt, philosopher Simon Critchley documents (with varying degrees of accuracy and humor) some of the most notable of these cases. Word to the wise: stay away from angry Christian mobs, especially if they're carrying oyster shells :)


Go here for the full lecture. It's well worth the time investment.
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