Feb 8, 2022
Grief and Grieving a guide for the confused
Grief: A Philosophical Guide published by Princeton University Press
An engaging and illuminating exploration of grief—and why, despite its intense pain, it can also help us grow
Experiencing grief at the death of a person we love or who
matters to us—as universal as it is painful—is central to the human
condition. Surprisingly, however, philosophers have rarely examined
grief in any depth. In Grief, Michael Cholbi presents
a groundbreaking philosophical exploration of this complex
emotional event, offering valuable new insights about what grief
is, whom we grieve, and how grief can ultimately lead us to a
richer self-understanding and a fuller realization of our
Drawing on psychology, social science, and literature as well as philosophy, Cholbi explains that we grieve for the loss of those in whom our identities are invested, including people we don’t know personally but cherish anyway, such as public figures. Their deaths not only deprive us of worthwhile experiences; they also disrupt our commitments and values. Yet grief is something we should embrace rather than avoid, an important part of a good and meaningful life. The key to understanding this paradox, Cholbi says, is that grief offers us a unique and powerful opportunity to grow in self-knowledge by fashioning a new identity. Although grief can be tumultuous and disorienting, it also reflects our distinctly human capacity to rationally adapt as the relationships we depend on evolve.
An original account of how grieving works and why it is so important, Grief shows how the pain of this experience gives us a chance to deepen our relationships with others and ourselves.
Michael Cholbi is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. He has published widely in ethical theory, practical ethics, and the philosophy of death and dying. His books include Suicide: The Philosophical Dimensions (Broadview, 2011), Understanding Kant’s Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2016), and Grief: A Philosophical Guide (Princeton University Press, expected 2021). He is the editor of several scholarly collections, including Immortality and the Philosophy of Death (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015); Procreation, Parenthood, and Educational Rights (Routledge, 2017); The Future of Work, Technology, and Basic Income (Routledge, 2019); and The Movement for Black Lives: Philosophical Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2020). He is the the co-editor of the textbook Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives (Routledge, forthcoming 2020). His work has also appeared in a number of scholarly journals, including Ethics, Mind, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, and Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics. In recent years, he has been an acdemic visitor at Australian National University, the University of Turku (Finland), and the Hastings Center - Bioethics Research Insitute.
His current research interests are
Ph.D, University of Virginia, 1999 [President's Fellow and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellow]