The texts in this course consist of literary and philosophical reflections on death, the “permanent and irreversible cessation of life” (J.M. Fischer). With references to Plato and Hegel, we will consider the ways in which death has been understood as giving meaning and structure to life. The focus will be on contemporary confrontations with “pure negativity” and on different thinkers’ attempts to articulate death as an ontological condition. We will also look at representations of death in contemporary art, literature, and film.