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Let’s talk about death

According to a new book, the fear of mortality underlies everything we do

By Jonathan Derbyshire  

“To live fully is to live with an awareness of the rumble of terror that underlies everything.”

—Ernest Becker

In the mid-1980s, three young American psychologists—Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg and Tom Pyszczynski—delivered a paper at the annual meeting of the Society of Experimental Psychology. Their subject was “terror management theory,” a notion they’d developed from their deep and enthusiastic study of a book that had won a Pulitzer Prize a decade before:…

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