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PI_handout - Death and Existential Dissonance(Burris and...

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Death and “Existential Dissonance” (Burris and Sani) – A Brief Review * As near as we can tell, humans differ from other species primarily in terms of their greater capacity for abstract thought . * Among other things, this enables us to become aware of the fact that, as physical beings, we are 1) “trapped” in time : physical existence begins at conception and ends at death the “death” side of this is the focus of Terror Management Theory (TMT) 2) “trapped” in space : only saints and gods can be more than one place at one time of course, continued physical existence requires that the body is capable of maintaining its separateness (from predators and parasites, for example) Together, these form part of “the human condition” that existential philosophers ponder. * There is another consequence of our capacity to self-reflect, however: We can become aware of the fact that we are conscious . 1) Under everyday conditions, we experience consciousness as being IN the body , but NOT THE SAME as the physical body.
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