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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Is It Possible to Say ‘Yes’ to Traumatic Experiences?
: A Philosophical Approach to Human Suffering

Masahiro Morioka

Journal of Philosophy of Life Vol.12, No.1 (November 2022):21-38




People who have encountered a tragic event and suffered from traumatic experiences can sometimes achieve, in their later lives, an affirmation of having been born to such devastating lives. But what does this “affirmation” exactly mean in such cases? In this paper, I investigate this problem from the viewpoint of philosophy of life’s meaning. Firstly, I distinguish among three types of affirmations: the affirmation of survival, the affirmation of having had traumatic experiences, and the affirmation of the occurrence of a tragic event. Secondly, I discuss the differences between the event that affects only one person and the event that affects many people, and which of the three aforementioned affirmations is the most important to victims. I would like to contribute to the discussion of this topic by analyzing some basic concepts concerning human suffering and despair.

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