|603-HSB-VA, The Grim Reaper's Reverence for Life |
When renowned physician/philosopher Albert Schweitzer coined the term 'Reverence for Life,' he imagined a simultaneously passive and active philosophy of care – an acceptance of life's natural cycle and also a resistance to it governed by the need to improve it. The basic impulses of acceptance and resistance, as well as their derivative forms (will to do good/evil; love/obsession), are constantly at play in creating our attitudes towards care, and this applies to both caregivers and patients/clients. The interaction of these two currents is most apparent in our ideas about death, which generally is considered the chief inimical force in most care-giving milieus. In this course we will read and examine works that deal with the seemingly contradictory instincts that animate human behavior, while ultimately trying to discover how to integrate these various drives into a wholesome philosophy of care.