. Human Mortality and the Declaration of Independence

George Anastaplo

in Reflections on Life, Death, and the Constitution

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125336
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135243 | DOI:
. Human Mortality and the Declaration of Independence

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This chapter examines the Declaration of Independence and notes that in its initial words, “When in the Course of human Events,” look both to events past and to events yet to come. It notes that the phrase reminded the transitory character of human lives. It points out that it is evident throughout the Declaration that recollections of what has already happened can provide guidance both as to what to expect and as to what should be done. It opines that among the things to be reckoned with are accounts of instructive recollections and of justified expectations. It observes that life and death are much in view in the argument developed in the Declaration, with an awareness of mortality illuminating (as well as darkening) many of the matters examined. It further observes that for some purposes the human species is regarded in the Declaration as worldwide and undifferentiated.

Keywords: Declaration of Independence; life; transitory character; instructive recollections; justified expectations; death; mortality; human species

Chapter.  2145 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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