The Journal of Ethics

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 409–418

Existential Terror


DOI: 10.1007/s10892-015-9204-7

Cite this article as:
Bradley, B. J Ethics (2015) 19: 409. doi:10.1007/s10892-015-9204-7


Many of us feel existential terror when contemplating our future nonexistence. I examine several attempts to rationally justify existential terror. The most promising of these appeals to the effects of future nonexistence on the meaningfulness of our lives. I argue that even this justification fails, and therefore existential terror is irrational.


Death Emotion Fear Meaning of life Rationality 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA