The Solace: Finding Value in Death through Gratitude for Life

ISBN : 9780190074302

Joshua Glasgow
128 ページ
127 x 178 mm

How can we find solace when we face the death of loved ones? How can we find solace in our own death? When philosopher Joshua Glasgow's mother was diagnosed with cancer, he struggled to answer these questions for her and for himself. Though death and immortality introduce some of the most basic and existentially compelling questions in philosophy, Glasgow found that the dominant theories came up short. Recalling the last months of his mother's life, Glasgow reveals the breakthrough he finally arrived at for himself, from which readers can learn and find solace. When we are grateful for life, we value all of it, and this includes death, its natural culmination. Just as we are grateful for the value in our lives, we can affirm this value in death. This is how to face death in a way that is both rational and comforting-in a way that provides solace. Too often we think about death as nothing but a loss. But if we shift our thinking, we can focus on how the goodness of life radiates to all its parts, even to death itself. In this way, we can find solace in death without having to resort to sentimentalism, and we can do so in a way that is equally relevant for the religious and non-religious. This path to solace provides a reassuring and significant tool for those grappling with the fact that we pass away.


1 Silver Linings
First Path: Nothingness
2 Epicurus' Dilemma
3 Passing Away
4 Incomparable
5 Solutions, Solutions
Second Path: Immortality
6 Deprivation or Rescue?
7 The Impossible Thing
8 Changes
Third Path: Life
9 Gratitude
10 The 8-Track and the Pen
11 Love
12 Valuable Imperfections
13 Existence
14 History
15 Experience
16 The Last Part
17 Solace
18 The Conversation


Joshua Glasgow is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Sonoma State University, where for several years he was also Director of the Center for Ethics, Law, and Society. He works on a variety of topics in ethics and political philosophy. He is the co-author of What is Race?: Four Philosophical Views, published by Oxford University Press in 2019.