Category Archives: Death & Meaning

An aging philosopher returns to the essential question: ‘What is the point of it all?’

The video above records the last reflections on life and death by the philosopher Herbert Fingarette (1921-2018) who had a long career at the UC-Santa Barbara. As a reader put it:

… there is an immediacy here that cuts to the bone … the impact can be overwhelming: we internalize it as a transcendent phenomenon–as if it were happening to us …

Summary of Tolstoy’s, The Death of Ivan Ilyich

Tolstoy in 1910
Leo Tolstoy’s short novel, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, provides a great introduction to connection between death and the meaning of life. It tells the story of a forty-five year old lawyer who is self-interested, opportunistic, and busy with mundane affairs. He has never considered his own death until disease strikes. Continue reading Summary of Tolstoy’s, The Death of Ivan Ilyich