The Western Philosophical Tradition On Death And Dying Essay

The Western Philosophical Tradition On Death And Dying Essay

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The Western philosophical tradition has developed numerous viewpoints on, and fostered various attitudes toward, our mortal nature. There was once a situation where people regarded death as a theme and we shall die. In Western Attitudes Toward Death and Dying (1974) Aries proposes that death itself has, from the early medieval period onward, undergone a series of gradual yet discernible changes, which he titles “tame death,” “one 's own death,” “thy death,” and “forbidden or wild death.” This fourfold division centers directly on how people experience and understand death. As such, it stands as a peculiar history, one that often eschews more visible changes (e.g., the Reformation) in favor of less discernible shifts present in literature, art (including funerary art), liturgy, burial practices, and wills. It is characterized by the use or assumption of mentalities—attitudes that characterize particular epochs or periods of time.
Firstly, the resignation to death also known as tamed death occurred during and before the Middle Age. The tamed death is defined as, we shall die. Resignation suggest a quiet submission to the will of God, which arose from the Christian theology. This is the divine will and this is how it should be. It is not to be fought or be afraid of because it is a part of human existence. Many people were farmers and they would raise animals and they die. Life is bound together by natural and divine law. As a result, the only hope you had was after life and the teachings of the Church would influence how people die and how your earthly remains were to be disposed. Aries (1981) argues that the tame death had been occurring for hundreds or even thousands of years. It was, in his estimation, the “oldest death there is”...


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...context of control where death was largely redefined through the languages of management (public hygiene and disposal of the dead) and pathology (medicine and illness). Medical inventions such as inoculation and immunization, improvements in diet and hygiene, and public health projects all contributed in the latter half of the 19th century to advances in life expectancy, decreases in infant mortality, and a general improvement in health for those lucky enough to escape class warfare, genocide, and slavery. But control over death was effected in another important way as well. Quite simply, the dying were themselves beginning to disappear from the world of the living. If the deceased had returned in their civic cemeteries and public monuments to the center of urban life, it was the dying who were, by the end of the 19th century, becoming increasingly removed from view.

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