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PSY 180 - Psychology of Aging - Textbook


How to Live Given the Certainty of Death

Shelly Kagan, Death (Yale University: Open Yale Courses), (Accessed January 01, 2020). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.


In this lecture, Professor Kagan invites students to pose the question of how one should live life knowing that it will certainly end in death. He also explores the issue of how we should set our goals and how we should go about achieving them, bearing in mind the time constraints. Other questions raised are how this ultimately affects the quality of our work and our accomplishments, as well as how we decide what is worth doing in life.

The lecture includes five sections:

  1. How carefully should we live?
  2. Time constraints and goals: Finding appropriate contents for life
  3. Quantity of Life: the more the better?
  4. Semi-Immortality through accomplishments
  5. Life is Suffering: An Alternative Approach to Living