Universiteit Leiden

nl en

MA Student Suzanne Oskam invited to conference Philosophy of Death and Dying

The Institute for Philosophy is happy to announce that Suzanne Oskam will be presenting her work this summer in Uppsala, Sweden at the biennial conference of the International Association for the Philosophy of Death and Dying.

The Meaningful Temporality of Lived Immortality

Suzanne was a student in Dr. Adam Buben’s MA Philosophy of Death seminar last fall, and her final paper for the course was accepted by the conference’s program committee after a highly competitive peer-review process.

Here’s what she will be talking about in August:

“The Meaningful Temporality of Lived Immortality”

Samuel Scheffler argues that personal immortality would be meaningless because of a lack of temporal limitations. Suzanne claims that his argument presupposes an abstract conception of time, and she contrasts this with Bergson’s account of time as duration—i.e. time as indefinitely and continuously flowing, rather than as an abstract, static juxtaposition of isolated states. Suzanne counters Scheffler’s objections to show that death is neither the only generator of significance, nor a necessary one. Drawing on Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit, she argues that a positive account of meaningfulness can be formulated. It is not death from which we derive meaning, but our lived experience within time, which may or may not include the possibility of one’s future death.
Suzanne completed her BA in Philosophy at Leiden University and is currently working to graduate with two MA degrees (in Philosophy and in Media Studies). She is the former vice-president of the philosophy study association, Symposion, and a current member of the Media Studies programme committee. Suzanne is primarily interested in existentialism, Lebensphilosophie, phenomenology, and, of course, philosophy of death. She wants to explore questions of the future of media, culture, and human life from a philosophical perspective, and plans to apply for a PhD position after she graduates, in the hope of pursuing an academic career.

International Association for the Philosophy of Death & Dying