- Introduction: Philosophy of Death
- When Do Things Die?
- Death and the Disintegration of Personality
- The Person and the Corpse
- Personal Identity and the Survival of Death
- The Evil of Death: What Can Metaphysics Contribute?
- Death and Eternal Recurrence
- Death in Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
- When Death Is There, We Are Not: Epicurus on Pleasure and Death
- The Badness of Death and the Goodness of Life
- The Symmetry Problem
- The Timing Problem
- Death, Value, and Desire
- Death and Rational Emotion
- Retroactive Harms and Wrongs
- The Makropulos Case RevisitedReflections on Immortality and Agency
- The Wrongness of Killing and the Badness of Death
- Abortion and Death
- The Morality of Killing in War: Some Traditional and Nontraditional Views
- The Significance of Death for Animals
- Capital Punishment
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the views of death by ancient Greek philosophers including Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato. It suggests that Aristotle offered no cheerful optimism similar to Socrates in his “Apology” and did not provide any arguments about the immortality of the soul like Plato in “Phaedo.” What Aristotle attempted to do was to help us face immortality that can enhance our chances of living worthy lives.
Gareth B. Matthews is Professor of Philosophy (Emeritus) at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He taught previously at the University of Virginia and the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Thought's Ego: Augustine and Descartes (1992), Socratic Perplexity and the Nature of Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 1999), and Augustine (2005).
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