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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Filozofska relevantnost smrti in umiranja (Slovene)

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.10.00  Humanities  Philosophy   

Code Science Field
6.03  Humanities  Philosophy, Ethics and Religion 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (6)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  31206  PhD Ana Bajželj Bevelacqua  Philosophy  Junior researcher  2009 - 2012  100 
2.  02650  PhD Miran Božovič  Humanities  Researcher  2009 - 2012  283 
3.  32033  Maša Gedrih  Philosophy  Researcher  2009 - 2010  40 
4.  30660  PhD Gregor Kroupa  Philosophy  Researcher  2010  54 
5.  04026  PhD Maja Milčinski  Humanities  Head  2009 - 2012  509 
6.  32995  Nada Videtič  Philosophy  Researcher  2010 - 2012 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  97,937 
Significance for science
The scientific basis of the research project was the realization of the past and contemporary marginalization of the topic of impermanence and the recognition of a taboo attitude towards death and dying in the contemporary society, which struggles to allow one to come to terms with the basic determinants of one's existence. As we planned the initial part of the research work predominantly consisted of a thorough study of the foundations that direct commonly held views on impermanence in different parts of the world, starting with an attitude towards death in Europe. The study of classical European philosophical works confirmed our thesis that the philosophical basis has fundamentally influenced the attitude towards it. We have researched various historical moments from the first philosophical studies of death to the contemporary treatments of it. An examination of the proposed scientific basis led us to the conclusion that the topic of death and dying is a deficit research field of Slovenian and broader Euro-American humanities and sciences. The prevailing philosophical attitude towards death and dying in these parts of the world has been negative and has involved skillful development of various mechanisms of the obliteration of the topic of death from the philosophical horizon. We have distinctly pointed out how powerful the influence of philosophical-theoretical foundations on an attitude towards dying of the general public has been and still is. Our results have been confirmed by the research Attitude toward death and dying in hospitals which included a large number of nurses that work at the University Medical Centre in Ljubljana. The results revealed a strongly present fear of death, feelings of helplessness, from both sides, the dying patient and his/her relatives and thus confirmed the inevitable effects of a general social-cultural denial of death. We then continued to evaluate our findings against intercultural 'resolutions' to this problem. We organized three international scientific symposiums, namely Death and dying in philosophy and Death and dying in Philosophies and Religions that took place at the University of Ljubljana, and Life, Death and Dying in Intercultural Perspective at the Tenri University in Japan. We have therefore established intercultural dialogues with renowned academics and experts that research the topics of death. Our research work continued to be dedicated to the practical evaluation of the theoretical findings as well as to addressing several particularly sensitive aspects of the topic of impermanence, such as suicide and fear of dying. This practical application of our scientific results reflects our initial appeal for the necessity of the interlinking of theory and practice within the research field of death and dying, which encourages an interdisciplinary approach. We have published our research results in many publications, including monographs and articles that were published in renowned Slovenian and foreign philosophical journals. By adopting an interdisciplinary approach, our work does not only encourage the development of humanities but also other scientific fields and above all, it emphasizes the importance of their cooperation. We have aspired to enable the results of our research work to reach the Slovenian public, since we wanted to highlight that the attitude towards death that an individual assumes is not self-evident. By doing so, we strived to present the attitude towards dying as well as topics related to it as a problem that need to be shed light upon and dealt with. Furthermore, we wished to point out what vital influence philosophy has on concrete confrontations with impermanence. Last but not least, an indirect project contribution to science is the intergration of the research results in the pedagogical process at the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana.
Significance for the country
The research project Philosophical relevance of death and dying, which is based on the contrastive methodology, was a rare if not the only research of its kind in Slovenia as well as worldwide. Project researchers are confident that the results and insights have already set a basis that will allow further research of the topic of impermanence in humanities, other sciences and most of all in interdisciplinary setups. Our publications in prominent Slovenian and international philosophical journals and monographs, which reveal new scientific findings and results of the application of an innovative methodology, encourage philosophical dealings with death. However, it must be pointed out that the aim of our publications, lectures and translations of classical Asian philosophical texts was not only to reach the academic but also the general Slovenian public and thus contribute to a better awareness and knowledge of intercultural 'solutions' to the problem of impermanence. Apart from the numerous participations at international conferences and invited lectures in Slovenia and abroad that present a vital part in the enrichment of intercultural communication as well as self-evaluation of research results and promotion of Slovenian philosophy in the world, we consider the pedagogical contribution, that integrated new insights into the teaching process at the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana and thus indirectly contributed to the development of higher education to be perhaps the most significant of all. Amongst contributions at international symposiums, one needs to be particularly noted. Dr. Milčinski took part at the Symbols of Japanese identity symposium in Kientzheim, France. Her lecture was titled Suicide: Japan and Slovenia contrasted and thus addressed a phenomena that is – internationally speaking – unfortunately intimately linked with Slovenia. This brings us close to Japan which similarly has one of the highest suicidal rates in the world. Dr. Milčinski employed her conference presentation to present the findings of the project research work concerning this similarity and the philosophical-social-cultural conditions that have led to the current state of things. This type of work is of great importance since it highlights intercultural solutions to Slovenian problems. At the same time, dr. Milčinski introduced her research regarding demographic changes, respect for the elderly, euthanasia, cremation and organ donation, i.e. practical aspects of confronting impermanence in Slovenia and Japan. Apart from the research of suicidality, we have also studied the relation between a degree of religiosity and fear of death amongst Slovenian Christians. The research revealed interesting and unexpected results. Those who claimed themselves to be deeply religious showed a greater degree of fear of dying that the others. Such findings have encouraged us to continue with a similar survey amongst various Christian creeds – more precisely Envangelical, Orthodox and Catholic – and Muslims. This sort of linking of theoretical and practical works reflects our aspiration to establish a new research field in Slovenia, one that will study the topic of impermanence interdisciplinary, encompassing a wide spectrum of topics that relate to the research sphere of death and dying.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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