Grief and the Mnemonics of Place: A Thank You Note

  • Janet McCracken
Part of the Sophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures book series (SCPT, volume 1)


This chapter brings together several themes evoked by memories of Robert C. Solomon: domestic animals, especially dogs, because Bob loved dogs; grief, because Bob really liked a paper by the author on that topic; and Persian philosophy, because the author’s two book chapters on that topic were written for anthologies that Bob co-edited. These themes intertwine in a discussion of how we mark places in rituals of mourning, in order to help us remember those we have lost. The focus in this chapter is particularly on the Funeral Games in Book 23 of The Iliad (Homer 1990) and the ancient Zoroastrian ritual of the Sag-deed, or “look of the dog.” The former assists memory by marking the ground, and so is associated with place and material existence. The latter assists memory by looking and moving on, and so is associated is carrying the spirit on in memory. Both are necessary in the dialectic of mourning.


Domestic Animal Athletic Competition Funerary Ritual Pluralistic Ethic World Philosophy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyLake Forest CollegeLake ForestUSA

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