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Death and the Good Life with Tayo Basquiat

This class will be a general philosophical, not a specifically religious, exploration of the subject of death.

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Time & Location







About the Event

About this class:

This is a 4-week virtual class using the Zoom platform.

Thursdays: January 19, 26, February 2, 9 - 7-8 pm CST

Seneca wrote, “Nothing can be of such great benefit to you . . . than to frequently contemplate the brevity of one’s life span, and its uncertainty. Whatever you undertake, cast your eyes on death.” Ugh! How depressing, right? Not so. In fact, happiness and the good life will elude us if we fail to think about death. So, let’s give this a try, shall we? In this class, “Death and the Good Life,” we will read and discuss several classic philosophical writings on death and take up the questions they ask: what do we understand ourselves to be (our nature/kind of entity)? Do we have an immaterial part that survives death? Would immortality be a good thing? If death is the end, is death bad? Why is life defined by its limit? What is feared in death? How should the fact that I’m going to die affect the way I live? These are a few of the questions we’ll consider as we read and discuss selections from Plato, Seneca, Epicurus, Tolstoy, and others as a means of doing this personal philosophical work in our own lives. Side note: religions offer answers to these questions specific to their religious framework and theological underpinnings. This class will be a general philosophical, not a specifically religious, exploration of this subject. A syllabus will be provided a week in advance along with PDFs for all texts considered in the class.

Instructor bio:

Tayo Basquiat writes to pay attention and teaches to pay the bills. He and a passel of creatures dwell off-grid in the high desert of New Mexico.

Humanities North Dakota classes and events are funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this {article, book, exhibition, film, program, database, report, Web resource}, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Humanities North Dakota. However, in an increasingly polarized world, we at Humanities North Dakota believe that being open-minded is necessary to thinking critically and rationally. Therefore our programs and classes reflect our own open-mindedness in the inquiry, seeking, and acquiring of scholars to speak at our events and teach classes for our Public University. To that end, we encourage our participants to join us in stepping outside our comfort zones and considering other perspectives and ideas by being open-minded while attending HND events featuring scholars who hold a variety of opinions, some being opposite of our own held beliefs.

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