PSYC 3570 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Orthodox Judaism, Insomnia, Soil Chemistry

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9 Aug 2016
-Isis is one of many deities who have been linked with the continued commerce between
life and death: the one is always passing the other.
-Sigmund Freud had the concept of death instinct. He named this concept Thanatos after
the Greek God who delivers a peaceful death. The Freudian concept was mostly
rejected except for those in neuroscientists who find it a heuristic idea to pair with PCD
(programmed cell death). Thanatos is regarded as part of the larger process that
generates new cells and maintains organ function though not forever (there are other
kinds of cell death as well. Accidents can destroy cells and so can developmental,
particularly genetic factors).
Ideas About the Nature and Meaning of Death
-Hindu philosophy, birth, death, rebirth, and then again, death are linked in a constantly
recurring cycle. We are born to die, but die to be reborn
-What we mean by “death” becomes of practical importance when we communicate
with others who have a different conception.
-Deadening can also be a way of protecting the self and giving it another chance.
-Antomist Gunther von Hagens developed a tissue preservation technique known as
Plastination. Plastination replaces the fluids and lipids in biological tissues with polymers
(such as silicone, epoxy, and polyesters). The result is a dry, odorless and durable
specimen that can be studied by generations of medical students. Often the focus is on
a particular body part, such as the region of the nervous system.
Death as Observed, Proclaimed, and Imagined
-Shelley- perhaps the dead could be reanimated. Perhaps death is not necessarily
permanent and irreversible. Perhaps age of the “modern Prometheus” was about to
begin. Just as Prometheus pilfered fire from the gods as a gift to humans, so a Victor
Frankenstein might harness lightning to the alarming project of creating life. Shelley
knew Prometheus suffered a terrible punishment for his disobedience. Frankenstein
was flawed- a warning to future scientists that anticipates the gene splitters and cloners
of today. Attitudes towards death and the dead become more complex with the
introduction of Frankenstein.
-Charles Darwin learned to distinguish between spiders that we either feigning death or
actually dead. Thanatomimesis is the simulation of death often to avoid being killed and
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also is used in children’s play to master death-related anxiety. His observations
contributing to the unsettling realization that the dead may be only apparently so.
-According to Islamic teachings, death is certain and final only when the soul has left the
-Epicurus offered a philosophy that has continued to influence many people. Epicurus,
agreeing with Democritus argued that the universe comprises atoms in motion and that
our own actions- indeed, our innermost thoughts and feelings- are shaped by the
pattern of past events. We live and die in a materialistic universe. Death is not much of
anything- simply one more event in a long sequence of events that has no intrinsic
meaning or value. We never actually experience death and the fact of death does not
violate any contract we might imagine that the gods have cosigned with us.
-Epicurus formed a community known as the Garden, in which like minded people-
women and men, poor and rich, slaves and free citizens- lived in equality and friendship.
Epicurus offered a model for harmonious living within a universe that does not seem to
care about weather we live or die.
-The Christian verion was responsive to the need the people preferred to have a version
in which the universe is rule abiding and purposeful, and in which humans lives and
death do count for something. The Christian message regarding death can be read as
simple or complex.
-Lust, sexual feeling, thought, and activity- is intimately associated with death. Before
Christianity, other religions in the ancient world had emphasized a connection between
withering away and fertility. Life was regenerated through death. Careful observance of
rituals might persuade the gods to allow crops to succeed and babies to thrive. Sacrifices
(animal or human) could also help matters along- a little death here and there as a
payment for life. Christianity specified that sexuality itself is sinful and carries the death
penalty. Virginity and abstinence take on theological resonances. Suicide and matrydom
were seen as an alternative to sexual indulgence. Not only the "deathification of sex,"
but also the "sexualisation of death" have been consequences of the concept put forth
in the gospel of James and other passages in the New Testament.
-Passionate and mystical union with God became an increasingly dominant theme in the
version of Christianity that became known to the world. Sexual union between humans
and their bonds of attachment were seen as less spiritual and worthy.
-New age movement view life as a journey through multiple lives. Death is a transition, a
door through which one passes on the way to the next life. This conception clearly
differs from others. Unlike the New Testament view, death is not a punishment for
sexuality or anything else.
-A flat EEF is not impressive because the life and death of the spirit are not seen as by
products of brain activity. This view has some commonality with Islam and other
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religious traditions that believe in a soul principle that is not entirely dependent on the
physical body.
-Death becomes less abstract when represent as a person.
Death as Symbolic Construction
-Some see death as a symbolic construction, something we have cobbled together from
our experiences, guesswork, needs, and ignorance. Death is therefore subject to the
same rules and limitations as any other concept. This does not mean that death is unreal
or fictitious. Death is a concept we need because it has so many important referents,
associations, and consequences.
-People today are less likely to have direct, unfiltered encounters with dying and death
than in the past. We are frequently exposed to constructed depictions of dying and
death in the media and online. Male characters were six times more likely to instifate
death and female characters were twice as likely to be the victims. In American film,
death is distorted into a sensational stream of violent attacks by males with fear, injury,
further aggression and the absence of normal grief reactions as the most common
-Recent productions tend to present death as a social disconnection and final
abandonment. The meaning of the death to the individual is seldom the central issue.
-A child’s attempt to understand the nature and meaning of death is certainly not
assisted by the aggressive and violent constructions of death in popular movies.
Biomedical approaches to the Definition of Death
Traditional Determination of Death: most common signs of death have been lack of respiration,
pulse, and heartbeat, as well as failure to respond to stimuli such has light, movement, and
pain. Lowered body temperature and stiffness are also expected to appear followed by a
bloating and signs of decomposition.
-Those who suffered a stroke,, epileptic seizure, or diabetic coma might also be
pronounced dead instead of receiving treatment.
-The status of the eye at death included 1. Segmentation and interruption of blood
circulation. 2. Haziness of the cornea and 3. Appearance of homogeneity and paleness.
Ways of Being Dead
-Medical advances have made it possible to maintain the body of a nonresponsive
individual for an indefinite period of time. The heart continues to beat; the respiratory
system continues to exchange its gases. Reflex responses may also be elicited. The
person, however, no longer seems to be there
Brain Death and the Harvard Criteria
-In 1950s, it was recognized that some unresponsive patients were beyond coma, that is ,
no electrophysiological activities could be detected from the brain. There was extensive
destruction of tissue. This became known as respirator brain.
-Created a primary guide for the determination of brain death but is now subject to
The Harvard Criteria
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