Death

Humanbeingsconsiderdeathas an inevitableuniversalevent.Manhas alwaysregardeddeathas something that can neverbeconquered,andweallknowsomedayweare goingto die.Plato believedthatdeathis theseparationof thebodyandsoul.His viewpointsuggestedthatafter deaththesoulsurvivethebody,a viewthat is heldby manycontemporaryphilosophers.On theotherhand,Sartre arguesthatexistentialism ishumanism.Thisis a doctrinethat suggeststhathumanlifeis possible,butaffirmsthateveryactionandeverytruthentailbotha humanandenvironmental subjectivity (Gallager 2-3). Existentialism isbasedon thepreceptsthat mancannot bedefinedbecauseheis nothing.In thispaper,Plato’s andSartre viewpointon deathshall be analyzedto informour understandingof whatis death.

is inevitable,andeverymortalbeingwillceaseto existone. Whenhumanbeingsdietheylosetheir powertoperformanypolitical, socialand economicactivities.Itmeansthatone losestouchwith theliving.After deaththebodydecomposesinto differentelements,thesamecomponentsthat makethehumanbody.In thisrespect,deathisthe destructionof thehumanbody,andin thisprocessa personlosesall theabilityandpowersthatlivinghumanpossess.In thePhaedo,Plato contendsthatdeathis thedisconnectionof thesoulandamortalbody(Lacewing, 2). Plato offeredtwo pointsof viewforhis thinkingthatdeathoccurswhenthesouldepartsfrom thebody.FirstPlato assertsthatthehumansoulcan neverbedestroyedbecauseallunseenthingsare unchanging, meaningthattheyarenot madeof components.Ifa thingdoesnot havecomponentsitcannot be brokenup, fortheprocessof destructionentails breakingsomething into parts.Thesoulis simpleandunchanging andas suchitcannot be destroyed.Second,hearguesthatallthingcomesfrom its opposite.Thismeansthatwhenever weendeavorto changesomething weare in realitytransformingitfrom whatitis at thecurrentstate,to whatitis not (Lacewing, 3). Forinstance,whenwepaintacarwhite, wechangeitfrom not-white to white. In thesamemannerlifechangesinto its opposite,deathis synonymousto not-life thatis equaltothe separationof bodyandsoul.In thesameveinto becomealiveis to undergochangefrom not beingaliveto beingalive.Thisstatementmeansthatlifemust emanatefrom deaththatis, lifemust be unitingthebodyandsoul.Plato statedthatour soulmust existin anotherworldbefore weareborn.Descartes supportsPlato reasoningthat unlike thebodythat ismadeof differentpartsthat can bedestroyedduring death,theminddoesnot havesuchcomponentsandas suchitcannot be divided.

Platowasa dualist, implyingthatheheldthebeliefthatmanismadeof twofundamentalelements,thebodyandsoul.Thebodyis thephysicalstructurethat is mortalwhilethesoulis theetherealelement.Plato suggestedthatthesoulismadeup of three elements,thelogicalelements,theemotionalelementsandthereasoningelement(Gallager, 3). Based on Plato’s proposition,thefundamentalaspectsof humanlifeare divinely preordainedevenbefore thebirthof aperson.

Onhis partSartre contendsthateverypersonmust firstexistbefore theelementsthat makethem up can be identified(Lightbody 90).Humanbeingsareconsideredasobjectiveentitiesratherthan subjectivein their dynamiccapacityto change.Existenceprecedesessence.Existentialists suchas Sartre havehumanized andindividualizeddeathas thelastphaseof life..Sartre contendsthatdeathis a partof lifeandconsequently could be understoodas a humanevent(Lightbody 90-91).

Ifdeathis thereallytheend,thencan itbe a badoccurrence.Ifafter deathI willnotexistthenitfollowsthatdeathis not a badthing.Itappearsthatthere is nowaydeathcan be badto me whenI am alreadydead,forhowcan anything be describedas badforsomething that is not inexistent.In thisveinitalsofollowsthatdeathcannot be badme at all,whetherI am deadoralive.Humanbeingsare not justa lumpof bonesandfleshwehavea soulthatis immaterialandimmortal.Thismeansthatwewillsurviveour deathandas sucheventhoughdeathwilldestroymy bodyitwillnot destroymy soulthatis immortal.

Platoarguesthatthethree elementsof thesoularetrappedin thehumanbody,andtheyonlyescapefrom thebodywhena persondies.Thetripartite soulgoesbackto therealmof beingsandwilleventuallyreturnto thehumanbody(Gallager,3). Thesoulis thusimmutableandeternal.In Plato’s Apology, Socrates viewsdeathas anicethingandcontendsthatthefearof itamount to simplythinkingone is wisewhenheis not. Socrates considersdeathfrom two mainperspectives.Hesuggeststhatdeathis nonexistentora bizarrethingthat happensto thesoulupon deathsothatitistransformedinto anotherformorgoesto anotherworld.Ifdeathis nonexistent,itmeansthatdeathitnothingbuta longdreamless sleep.Itfollowsthatthere is noawarenessin death(Gallager1-2).

Sartrerecognizesthathumanare finitebeings,butheis quickto pointout thatfinitude is not to befoundin futuredeaththatawaitsa person.Hebelievesin thebeingandnothingness,anessentialelementof existentialism theorywhich drawsthestructureof choiceratherthan on theinevitability of death.There is noplacefordeathin beingforitself (Dreyfus &amp Mark 245). Finitude andtheirreversibledirectionof timeemanates from thenecessityof choosingone thingbefore anotherandbeingunableto reversethissequence.

Asaforementioned,thereare two fundamentalwaysin which wecan reflectabout thenatureof death.One of thewayis to presumethathumanbeingsarecomposedof two fundamentalparts,thesoulandbody.Thisis thedualist viewanddeathis supposedto be theseparationof thematerialbodywith theimmaterialandimmortalsoul.Ifhumanbeingspossessa soul,thatis mortal,thenwecan visualizethatwhenthebodyceasesto exist,theotherpart(soul)which is immortalwillcontinueto existis somefrom andfashion.In thisrespectpossessinga soulis not an assurancethatthisis true,butitcomesout as asufficientandnecessaryconditionforsurvivingthedeathof thebody.

Theotherwayto thinkabout deathis to startby presupposingthere is nothinglikea soul.Theviewthathumanbeingsare exclusivelyphysicalandthattheydepend on totallyon their physicalbodyis referredto as physicalism (Meyer, 1). Whenthephysicalbodyceasesto exist,there is nothingleftto sustainour consciousness.Physicalism is a philosophicalargumentthatonlythingsthat are physicalare real.Physicalmeansthatobjectscan be observedby our senses,mainlytouch,sightandhearing.Itis an ontological positionwhich statesthatonlythingsthat are subjectof physicscan be termed to be real.In thisrespectrealityconsist of aspectsthat are observablethrough humanoutersenseandthingswhoseexistencecan beproventhrough investigationusingphysicsmethodsandprinciples(Meyer, 1). One of the principle laws of Physics isthatallmatterhas weightandoccupiesspace.It,therefore, followsthatPlato propositionthatdeathis separationof bodyandsouldoesnot holdwaterwhenanalyzedfrom a physicalistpointof view.Thesouldoesnot occupyspaceandnoruleof physicscan be usedto provethatthesoulexistsandthatitseparatesfrom thebodywhenthedeathoccurs.

Conclusion

Theotherwayto thinkabout deathis to startby presupposingthere is nothinglikea soul.Theviewthathumanbeingsare exclusivelyphysicalandthattheydepend on totallyon their physicalbodyis referredto as physicalism (Meyer, 1). Whenthephysicalbodyceasesto exist,there is nothingleftto sustainour consciousness.The body dies together with all the components that join together tomake it, including the mind and soul. The view that human beings aremade of two main components, the body and soul as proposed by Platoand that death entails separation of the two components is againstthe physicalism. Realityconsists of aspectsthat are observablethrough humanoutersenseandthingswhoseexistencecan beproventhrough investigationusingphysicsmethodsandprinciples.Therefore death is the cessation of human existence that entailsdestruction of the body and separation of the soul from the body.

WorksCited

Dreyfus,Hubert L, and Mark A. Wrathall. ACompanion to Phenomenology and Existentialism.Hoboken: John Wiley &amp Sons, 2011. Internet resource.

Feldman,F.(1998)..Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from:http://people.umass.edu/ffeldman/.pdf

Gallager,E(2013).SocratesView of .Retrieved from:http://www.academia.edu/513975/Socrates_View_of_

Lacewing,M.(2010).SubstanceDualism.Routledge, Taylor &ampFrancis Group. Retrieved from:http://cw.routledge.com/textbooks/alevelphilosophy/data/A2/Mind/SubstanceDualism.pdf

Lightbody,Brian.and Liberation: A Critical Investigation of in Sartre’s Beingand Nothingness.Minerva- An Internet Journal of Philosophy 13(2009): 85-98

Meyer,P.(2011).Physicalism:A False View of the World.

Sartre,Jean-Paul. &quotExistentialism.&quotBasic Writings of Existentialism Comp. GordonDaniel Marino. NewYork: Modern Library, 2004. Print