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ABSTRACT. In principle, every mentally healthy adult in Western civilization should be completely convinced that he will die and that his death might happen at any time. In this paper, however, I bring up the work of two Spanish authors, the poet Antonio Machado and the philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, to shed light on alternatives to the above-mentioned convictions like the impossibility of believing in one’s own death, the feeling of the child who conceives himself as eternal, the belief of imminently going to die, the state of doubt between two beliefs about death, and the certainty that one will die so late that his possibility of dying seems to dissipate almost entirely in the short to medium term. To analyze in detail the characteristics of this last certainty, I will base myself on the late work of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, whose conception of “world-picture” I will criticize because of its static nature. pp. 82–96

Keywords: death; belief; certainty; knowledge; Antonio Machado; José Ortega y Gasset; Ludwig Wittgenstein

JOSÉ MARÍA ARISO
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Education Department,
International University of La Rioja

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