Review of Being with the dead by Hans ruin, Stanford University press, 2018
Reading Hans’s Ruin book, we are caught in a philosophical reflection about death, community and history, crossing a large field of disciplines: from an anchoring in phenomenology, hermeneutics and deconstruction, a dialogue is carried with sociology of mortuary culture, archaeology, cultural memory studies giving a specific depth and extension to Ruin’s analysis. We must stress that this book is a real interdisciplinary work, going beyond the old tension between phenomenology and the social sciences. The dialogue is held in a three-fold movement: a broadening of philosophy with the insights of these other disciplines, a drawing of philosophical reflections and implications from the facts and theoretical stakes brought by theses disciplines, and a meta-reflection on how the human sciences are sustained by a commitment to the dead.
Starting from the acknowledgment that any human community has developed ways of being, caring, communicating with their dead, Ruin questions what it means to...
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