Mourning and the Recognition of Value

In Mikolaj Slawkowski-Rode (ed.), The Meaning of Mourning: Perspectives on Death, Loss and Grief. Lexington Books (2023)
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If mourning is a proof of value, how could it be appropriate to move on when one has truly loved and valued someone? Assuming that it is appropriate to value others extremely highly – perhaps even infinitely – how could it ever make sense for one’s grief to abate? Do loss and proper mourning thus present us with a choice between living well and loving well? This paper aims to vindicate the pressing nature of these questions while arguing that we do not need to choose between living well and loving well. It discusses how these questions become pressing, some empirical research seeming to imply that humans do not tend to love well at all, and finally, offers an explanation of why ceasing to mourn need not be a failure of love. In particular, we offer an account of how ceasing to mourn can be a fitting response to the object of love, as well as compatible with living well.

Author Profiles

Cathy Mason
Central European University
Matt Dougherty
University of Vienna


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