Humanistic Perspective On Death

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Death is not merely biological phenomena. Biology, medicine and its related disciplines studies death and dying scientifically. Social sciences like sociology or socio psychology and Human sciences like cultural anthropology, history, religious studies and literary theory investigates the death as a human phenomenon. Philosophical perspectives on death and dying are made up of some important categories borrowed from humanistic perspectives. (Pihlström, 2009: 278)
This theme is willingly charted out to discuss the humanistic perspective on death and dying and paying attention to the difference between naturalistic and humanistic approaches to understand human existence. One can divide humanistic perspective on death three broad themes i.e.
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There exists biologiological and technological debates about immortality. For instance, “Life-extending substances” in biology where it is believed and experimented on some known naturally occurring and artificially produced chemicals which can increase the life-expectancy of an organism like resveratrol (Baur, et al., 2006). There exists strong belief among scientists that boosting the amount or proportion of in the body of telomerase may help to maintain the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes which could prevent cells from dying leading to extension of life (Macrae , 2008: retrieved on 22-08-2014).
Another interesting discourse comes from transhumanist perspective i.e. “Technological immortality”. This discourse combines efforts from various disciplines like nanotechnology, emergency room procedures, genetics, biological engineering and regenerative medicine, microbiology. It includes all scientific efforts about immortality with the combination of human cloning, cryonics or nanotechnology supporting the theory that humans can continually biological or synthetic replacement parts to replace damaged or dying ones ( Freitas,
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Philosophical thanatology as a sub discipline of philosophy relies more non-empirical inquiry of mortality and its significance to (social) life. It mainly studies death in general conceptual way i.e. not restricted to humans. It is obvious that the meaning of the concept of death may differ from the observable criteria of death for instance It is one thing to determine whether an organism is dead; it is another thing to say what its being dead amounts to. Such conceptual differences motivates philosophers like Ann Hartle (1986), Steven Luper (2009), Norbert Elias(2001), Fred Feldman(1992) and social theorists- like Barney G. Glaser and Anselm L. Strauss(1966), Ivan Illich (1975) Kristin Luker(1984) to think about some concrete applications of (studying) death as the ethics of abortion or

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