At What Moment Are You Dead? [5:33]


With professionally developed cartoon illustrations, this video by TED-Ed discusses the history of theories of what makes the living ‘alive’ as well as answering the question with modern science.  It starts with the ancient theory of Vitalism and then moves to Rene Descartes’ theory of Min-Body Dualism, which first begins to think of the body as a machine.  It leaves with a modern understanding of death, namely entropy and our cellular metabolism.

 Discussion Questions

  • What is Vitalism?
  • What important idea id Rene Descarte introduce?
  • What does entropy have to do with death?  Is the 2nd law of thermodynamics violated?
  • Do you ever think that we’ll be able to make nano-bots that keep us alive forever?
  • How would you define the ‘life’ and ‘death’?

Keywords: death, life, biology, entropy, dualism, science, Descartes, soul, vitalism, naturalism


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