In Gulf News, Simon Critchley on death in our times
Most of us, most of the time, are encouraged by what passes as normality to live in a counterfeit eternity. We imagine that life will go on and death is something that happens to others. Death is reduced to what Heidegger calls a social inconvenience or downright tactlessness. The consolation of philosophy in this instance consists in pulling away from the death-denying habits of normal life and facing the anxiety of the situation with a cleareyed courage and sober realism. It is a question of passionately enacting that fact as a basis for a shared response, because finitude is relational: It is not just a question of my death, but the deaths of others, those we care about, near and far, friends and strangers.