Metaphysics & death
A metaphysical death is defined and presented according to the anthropology of St.Thomas Aquinas. The arguments used are St.Thomas’ proof of the unity of body and spirit, his doctrine on the requirement for sufficient bodily formation for spiritual Ensoulment, and the supernatural end of the human person’s life on earth. The conclusion reached is that two conditions must be met to define bodily death
- The body must no longer be capable of the most basic function of a material living being, which is to maintain its own energy supply.
- The body must no longer be able to serve the spirit in its moral choices – that is a permanent, irrecoverable state of unconsciousness is present.
If these two conditions are found, then the form of the body is no longer sufficient for Ensoulment to persist and the body is dead. Medical diagnosis of brainstem death and death from cardiac arrest are discussed in the light of this definition.
There are two definitions of death It states that an individual who has sustained either –
- Irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions
- Irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem is dead
What is metaphysical death and positive change
The boundary between life and death continues to be the object of debate despite the fact that “humanity has thoughtfully struggled with the concept and criteria of death for millennia”. The importance and the need to reconsider criteria for the definition of human death and to develop more rigorous ones have increased with advance medical technologies in resuscitation and life maintenance systems and with the growing demand for organ transplantation.
In natural sciences, there is no problem of death everything what is alive dies. Human death is not only the event in the body but as an event that occurs in the human being, it is an individual human drama.
Thus, the prominence of brain death criteria regarding the interpretation of death and dying reduces the impact of anthropological, psychological, cultural, religious and legal aspects. With it’s manifestation the real value and essence of human life is disclosed. The end is an empirical outcome, but the essence lies in the meta-empirical reason.
In the 20th century, the approach to human death was mostly formed by existential philosophy. Heidegger primarily distinguishes death as the exceptional opportunity of human existence. Heidegger emphasises the difference between death as an actual event and death as personal comprehension. In particular, he states, “The publicness of everyday being-with-one-another ‘knows’ death as a constantly occurring event as a ‘case of death’.
Someone or another ‘dies’ be a neighbour or stranger. People unknown to us ‘die’ daily and hourly. Accordingly, Heidegger concludes that people have already secured an interpretation for death as an event “One also dies at the end, but for now one is not involved”.
Derrida deconstructs the existential concept of death. Derrida underlines death as the only situation of human existence (or non-existence) in which individuals find themselves when their subjectivity and individuality reaches maximum.
This is the situation when a particular individual is irreplaceable, when he or she completely identifies with himself or herself in the sense that he or she cannot transfer this or her death to someone else “Death is very much that which nobody else can undergo or confront in my place.
My irreplaceability is therefore conferred, delivered, ‘given’, one can say, by death”. Death provides human being with the opportunity which he does not have and will not have in his whole life. In this context, Derrida’s insight la regarding his perception of death are very important, and the expression my death is identified.
What is meant by my death? By Derrida, the expression of my death is “an illusory of the possible meaning of such expression. This does not even embody a particular meaning, and even not has a referent”.
No one knows how, where and when they will die and these unknowns are anxiety-inducing even for folks who have doubts about the afterlife. Death positivity encourages openness in order to better serve those who are dying, those who fear death, and those who want to feel more secured in life by understanding loss.
When people hear “death positive” they often mistaken the term for the glorification of death. While the death positivity movement does seek to increase acceptance of this inevitable end to life, the idea that this movement romanticises death couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, death positivity is about making the most of life, reducing the impact that our deaths have on the environment, and allowing those who are dying to do so with greater dignity and comfort. It’s a practical way to reduce harm that results from the awkwardness surrounding the discussion of death.
It also isn’t a movement that reduces the pain of grief. People who identify as death positive still grieve. They may hate death, and experience anger when someone they love is taken away. Though they know there is nothing to fear about a dead body, they recognise it’s natural to feel this way. Being death positive means finding comfort in living well and celebrating life at the time of death.
Myth busting Death Positivity Here are some of the most common misconceptions people have about death positivity movement!
- Death positivity encourages or wishes for death
- Death positivity is goth
- People who are death positive are ready to die
- Death positivity is purely secular
- Discussion of morbid topics only upsets people
Death be not proud as a metaphysical poem
Death be not proud was written by the English poet and Christian cleric John Donne in 1609 and first published in 1633. The poem is a direct address to death, arguing that it is powerless because it acts merely as a “short sleep” between earthly living and the eternal afterlife – in essence, death is nothing to fear. The sonnet was written mostly in iambic pentameter and is a part of a series known as Donne’s “Holy Sonnets”.
The speaker directly addresses and personifies Death, telling it not to be arrogant just because some people find death scary and intimidating. In fact, death is neither of these things because people don’t really die when dead – whom the speaker pities – comes to them, nor will the speaker truly die when death arrives for him.
Comparing death to rest and sleep, which are like images of death, the speaker anticipates death to be even more pleasurable than these activities. Furthermore, it’s often the best people who go with death which represents nothing more than the resting of the body and the arrival of the soul in the afterlife.
Death is fully controlled by fate and luck, and often administered by rulers or people acting desperately. The speaker points out that death is also associated with poison, war and illness. Drugs and magic spells are more effective than death when it comes to rest. With all this in mind, what possible reason could death have for being so puffed up with pride?
Death is nothing but a mere sleep in between peoples earthly lives and the eternal afterlife, in which death can visit them no more. It is instead death or a certain idea of death as something to be scared of that is going to die.
Language metaphysics and death
I wrote you a prose poem, because a mother’s love is as conditional as whether she is alive. Whether she is alive is as conditional as your definition of dream. In Metaphysics, Language and Death by John Donnelly there is an essay by Wittgenstein where he says, ‘The end of our life has no end in the way in which our visual field has no limits’.
One will fall asleep while reading Donnelly’s friend take credit for what was essentially Wittgenstein’s work, but here it is so much more than not definition of death (implicitly, a definition of death) – it was a hug at a funeral.
Death is a curve of life, a tucking your head into your armpit in the cave 11 miles out from the academy where Plato taught – a roll of death, to be caught in the jaws of history on the side of the Nile bed.
Metaphysical poems about death
Holy Sonnet by John Donne
Just as Donne’s love poems are filled with religious imagery, so his holy sonnets are intensely romantic, even erotic. In this poem, one of his most celebrated holy poems, death is personified as a male braggart, like a soldier boasting of all the men he’s slain. There is also a suggestion of a male lover bragging about all of his conquests between the sheets Donne liked the double meaning of ‘die’ as both ‘expire’ and ‘orgasm’, and the idea that ‘those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,/ Die not’ hides the suggestion that ‘you may think all those women you conquer are overcome with pleasure, but they’re faking it’.
A Valediction Forbidden Mourning by John Donne
John Donne is perhaps most famous for his poetry that explores love and this poem is one of his best known works in the genre. It was written in 1611 or 1612 for his wife Anne More before he left on a trip to Continental Europe. The speaker of the poem is about to part from his beloved for a long duration and though he deeply loves her, he says they should not mourn their separation.
He then uses a sequence of metaphors, each describing a way to look at the occasion of their separation without mourning. The poem is notable for its use of conceits and ingenious analogies to describe the couple’s relationship. It is one of the most famous poems which describes the parting of lovers.
Metaphysical view of death
Is death larger than life and does it annihilate life altogether? This is the basic question discussed within a philosophical/existential context. The central argument is that the concept of death is problematic and following Levinas, the author holds that death cannot lead to nothingness. This accords with the teaching of all religious traditions, which hold that there is life beyond death, and Plato’s and Aristotle’s theories about the immortality of the soul.
In modernity, since the Enlightenment, God and religion have been placed in the margin or rejected in rational discourse. Consequently, the anthropocentric promethean view of man has been stressed and the reality of the limits placed on humans by death de-emphasised or ignored. Yet, death remains at the centre of nature and human life, and it’s reality and threat become evident in the spread of a single virus. So death always remains a mystery, relating to life and mortality.
Simmel claims that in order to understand death we must detach ourselves from its common association with the idea of a final and irrevocable ‘fate’ and recognise that life and death are inherently conjoined. Simmel observes that in every single moment of life we are those who must die.
Each of life’s moments is revealed only through a temporal approximation to death and life. To this extent life and death occupy one level of being as thesis and antithesis. Simmel concludes that, in opposition to conceptions of immortality found in religion, immortality is more appropriately understood as a separation of the self from the contingency of individual life contents.
You may wish to check out definition of Metaphysics.