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Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates: Using Philosophy (and Jokes!) to Explore Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in Between

Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein.
Publisher Viking  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 7.25 x 5.25 x 0.75 inches
ISBN 9780670020836
Pages/Publication Date 245/2009
Daedalus Item Code 31100
This item is not available.
Q.: Why are there almost as many jokes about death as there are about sex? A.: Because they both scare the pants off us. First making a name for themselves with the outrageously funny Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar, former Harvard philosophy majors Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein here turn their attention to the Big D, and share the timeless wisdom of the great philosophers, theologians, psychotherapists, and wiseguys on Death. From angels to zombies, Cathcart and Klein offer a fearless and irreverent history of how we approach death, why we embrace life, and whether there really is a hereafter.

"Did you know that Heidegger's notion of living in the shadow of death has its most profound articulation in a country and western song by Tim McGraw? Or what Law and Order has in common with theologian Paul Tillich's view of eternity? Such are the nuggets of wisdom found in this smart and lighthearted consideration of the philosophical dimensions of death. Cathcart and Klein take readers on a whirlwind tour of anthropological, philosophical and theological theories of why and how we avoid accepting our own mortality. The authors demonstrate how humor allows us to express our fears about death while defusing anxiety. Succinct accounts of Kierkegaard's notion of embracing angst, Schopenhauer's notion of undying will and Descartes on mind-body dualism are thus all peppered by comic asides (Leibnitz maintained that Mind and Matter don't actually get into each others knickers). This little book is an entertaining and surprisingly informative survey of the Big D and its centrality in human life."—Publishers Weekly

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