Journal of Philosophy of Life

An international peer-reviewed open access journal dedicated to the philosophy of life, death, and nature, supported by the Project of Philosophy and Contemporary Society, Advanced Research Center for Human Sciences, Waseda University


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The Being of Death

Jim Hanson

Journal of Philosophy of Life Vol.7, No.2 (August 2017):361-376



As thought through logic, death is separate from life, ending the finite existence of life. As understood through onto-logic, death and life are inseparable, extending through being as the nothingness of death. Heidegger recognizes the importance of death, as experienced through the death of the other and as impending in the future rather than abiding in the present, but as having no specified relation to nothingness. Derrida suggests a relation of death to nothingness by renunciation of the I. For Nishitani, nothingness is the key to understanding death; nothingness is at the start and end of every moment and on the near side of things. When objectified and separated from life, death is experienced in the finitude of death-of-life and death-of-death. However, life-of-death links life to death and nothingness of being, making death and life inseparable. Death is involved in life as the constant experience of nothingness.

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