Putting Descartes before Deshorse

October 2008

Consider the rather startling fact that you will never know you have died. You may feel yourself slipping away, but it isn’t as though there will be a “you” around who is capable of ascertaining that, once all is said and done, it has actually happened. Just to remind you, you need a working cerebral cortex to harbor propositional knowledge of any sort, including the fact that you’ve died—and once you’ve died your brain is about as phenomenally generative as a head of lettuce. In a 2007 article published in the journal Synthese, University of Arizona philosopher Shaun Nichols puts it this way: “When I try to imagine my own non-existence I have to imagine that I perceive or know about my non-existence. No wonder there’s an obstacle!”

Never Say Die: Why We Can't Imagine Death (via Trivium)

KT commented:

Surely, though, we have not-existed before, for the millions of years before we were conceived. So... we'll just feel exactly how we felt back then - if you'll cast your minds back :)