Problems in the Meaning of Death

Science 170:1235-1236, 1970.


The meaning of death is an abiding human problem. It is perhaps the first such problem, and certainly one of the oldest. Confrontation with dead bodies has been credited by some as the source of man’s self-consciousness. According to this view, by recognizing and recoiling from his own mortality, man embarked upon a search for the imperishable and unchanging, a search which issued in religion, philosophy, art, and science.

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