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Freedom and Limits$
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John Lachs and Patrick Shade

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823256747

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823256747.001.0001

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Pragmatism and Death

Pragmatism and Death

Chapter:
(p.377) Twenty-Six Pragmatism and Death
Source:
Freedom and Limits
Author(s):

Patrick Shade

John Lachs

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823256747.003.0028

Responding to objections that pragmatism is inadequate in helping us face death, Lachs emphasizes the unique satisfactions that come with the different stages of the life cycle (enthusiasm in youth, achievement in adulthood, peace in old age). Those who believe we can and should defeat death—a belief attributed to pragmatism (erroneously, if the pragmatist is a stoic)—are insufficiently attentive to consequences and to the values made possible by our unavoidable finitude. Lachs advises that “if life is satisfactory, we should avoid death for as long as we can.” Death is not a matter of indifference to the pragmatist, but neither is it an absolute foe to one who recognizes achievement in the context of limits.

Keywords:   Pragmatism, Facing death, Human finitude

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