Tristan Garcia on death, the end of presence.
Unlike the materialist or naturalist, the idealist makes death
the end of being. Death no longer has anything to do with living
things, but everything to do with the Idea. Death becomes the
condition by which existent things, and not merely living things,
can situate themselves outside their identity as human animals.
Here, death belongs only to those who think about death, who
are conscious of it, or who have an Idea of it. Other entities, like
beasts, plants, and amoebas, merely ‘perish’ (according to Martin
But whoever contrasts death with life or with subjective being
forgets that death is neither the end of a life nor the end of an
individuated subject, but the end of an individuated life’s presence.
Dying is irreducible to an operation of organised living things,
which come undone, decompose, and recompose. Dying cannot
be elevated to the idea of the end, nothingness, or the absolute.
Neither a function of the living nor an ontological end, death is the
event of an absence of life’s presence.
Death is what can only be absent.
Pp. 410-11, Form and Object: A Treatise on Things