Friday, October 02, 2015
Spiked interviews Raymond Tallis.
I ask Tallis about his attitude towards a certain existential tradition of thought, in which the idea of death, of one’s finitude, is mobilised to revelatory, ‘live every moment as if it’s your last’ effect. ‘I am much closer to the existentialists than perhaps you think’, he tells me. ‘And it seems that authentic being towards death is a way of breaking out of the carapace of habitual ways of thinking. It is a way of going beyond Heidegger’s everydayness most certainly. Because it looks at everydayness from the outside, not necessarily rejecting it, but to see it from the outside. And I think that is part of being towards death. The knowledge that because you’re finite, and that if you do X you can’t do Y, that as you get older, you define yourself ever more narrowly because the plenipotentiality you had when you were young boils down to the actual life you’ve lived. Again it’s something that existentialists were aware of, and it’s something I believe very strongly.’
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