Course Instructor: Michael Wolf
"Death, is nothing to us, since when we exist there is no death, and when there is death we do not exist." - Epicurus
"Death is the mother of beauty" - Wallace Stevens
"People living deeply have no fear of death." - Anais Nin
"Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!!!" - Vizzini
In this section, we will read and discuss some classic and contemporary sources on questions surrounding death. What does it mean for beings like us? Is it an intrinsically bad thing? Do we survive it in some way or another? Could we prevent it in the future? Would we want to live on endlessly, or would that become a bad thing in its own right? Many of the readings will be drawn from western philosophy, but will also include works of fiction, sacred texts from different religious traditions, and recent work on artificial intelligence. The readings will include Todd May's Death, Epictetus's Enchiridon, Jorge Luis Borges's "The Immortal," and Epicurus's "Letter to Menoeceus."