// by Thomas Nagel | Philosophy Department at St. Anselm College //

If one thinks about it logically, it seems as though death should be something to be afraid of only if we will survive it, and perhaps undergo some terrible transformation. But that doesn't prevent many people from thinking that annihilation is one of the worst things that could happen to them.

Though I shall for convenience often speak of two standpoints, the subjective and the objective, and though the various places in which this opposition is found have much in common, the distinction between more subjective and more objective views is really a matter of degree, and it covers a wide spectrum.

A view or form of thought is more objective than another if it relies less on the specifics of the individual's makeup and position in the world, or on the character of the particular type of creature he is.

Communitarianism -- the ambition of collective self-realization -- is one of the most persistent threats to the human spirit.

The seductive appeal of objective reality depends on a mistake. It is not the given. Sometimes ... the truth is not found by traveling as far away from one's personal perspective as possible.