How Do Wise Men Die?

Philosophers pursue wisdom. Accounts of how they faced death should be interesting, even instructive.

As it turns out, many wise men die the usual way — often confused, a little scared, even wistful, with regrets etc. Some philosophers do die in extraordinary, even spectacular, ways. But, isn’t that true for common folks as well?

Simon Critchley’s The Book of Dead Philosophers is about the deaths of 190 philosophers. Some were killed, some took their own lives, some died in accidents, others died of old age & disease, and so on…very mundane. But, their ideas about death & how they faced it makes for interesting reading. A few were true to their words, following their own advice when facing death. Some changed their minds, as they aged and life tempered their passions. Some were incoherent & inconsistent. Many stumbled & faltered on their way to death. Some had unusual ideas about dying, worth pondering about. Some were remarkable in their deaths. But, none superhuman.

Wise men die like others.

But, their lives & thoughts make their deaths a worthwhile study.

The unexamined life is not worth living