Grief

Price, Carolyn (2018). Grief. In: Tappolet, Christine; Teroni, Fabrice and Konzelmann Ziv, Anita eds. Shadows of the Soul: Philosophical Perspectives on Negative Emotions. New York: Routledge, pp. 105–112.

URL: https://www.routledge.com/Shadows-of-the-Soul-Phil...

Abstract

This chapter considers the nature of grief and the role it plays in human life. Does our capacity to experience grief have any value? Or is it merely pointless suffering? Or an irrational refusal to accept something that cannot be changed? The chapter explores some reasons philosophers, from Plato onwards, have given for supposing that we might be better off without grief. But it also considers reasons for thinking that grief might have some value in our lives. Grief, it is argued, is a complex response to loss—one that can involve different types of emotional reactions; as a result, there is no simple answer to the question of grief’s value.

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