Love and Death
Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 104, pp. 301-316, 2007
23 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2008 Last revised: 12 Mar 2008
Empirical evidence indicates that bereaved spouses are surprisingly muted in their responses to their loss, and that after a few months many of the bereaved return to their emotional baseline. Psychologists think this is good news: resilience is adaptive, and we should welcome evidence that there is less suffering in the world. I explore various reasons we might have for regretting our resilience, both because of what resilience tells us about our own significance vis-à-vis loved ones, and because resilience may render us incapable of comprehending how things really stand, value-wise. I also compare our actual dispositions to extreme alternatives ("sub-resilience" and "super-resilience"), and consider whether we might endorse (plain) resilience as a kind of mean.
Keywords: love, death, bereavement, marriage, resilience, ethics, philosophy
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