The Duration of Life and its Biological Analogy: The Great Taboo

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B. Chiarelli


Children, at 4-5 years of age, ignore the idea death, at 7 they associate it with feelings of fear and punishment and consider it reversible, only at 9 do they begin to have rational ideas about it. If we were to make an enquiry, probably around 30% of adults do not fear death, 60% do, and 10% are terrified of it. Moreover, around 70% of the elderly would like to die at home and 30% in hospital. 80% of all seriously ill patients prefer to be told the truth, yet 95% of doctors prefer to hide it from them. In our species, interest in the length of one’s own life starts and develops with the progression of cognitive and social experiences, and is already present in adolescence. This work is a synopsis of some naturalistic and anthropological notions of the phenomenon.

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How to Cite
Chiarelli, B. (2020). The Duration of Life and its Biological Analogy: The Great Taboo. Human Evolution , 35(1-2), 109-123.
Author Biography

B. Chiarelli, International Institute for Humankind Studies

Chiarelli, B.
International Institute for Humankind Studies,
Via del Proconsolo 12,
50122 Firenze, Italy.