philosopher John Fischer.
You’ve written about death as being “bad” because it deprives us of things we know we will enjoy. But is it possible that one reason we enjoy things is that we know they won’t last? I think of Dorian Gray’s constant ennui. Proust writes a lot about the dissatisfaction in love that comes right after one possesses the object of his desire. Would we even enjoy immortality after a while?
Yes. Well…that’s a great question. I think Heidegger is famous also for arguing that our awareness of our own finitude structures our lives, kind of gives it meaning, makes everything precious and urgent. And that, without it, our lives wouldn’t have that meaningfulness. I think that insofar as you really love someone—really, intensely, genuinely love someone—you don’t want to lose that person. You don’t want it to end. And you’ll go to great lengths to maintain the beauty and intimacy of the relationship and not let it dissipate and not let it end.