And don't miss Dumb Things Said By Philosophers 2.
I think philosophy is looked to as a preparation for death by those who, like Cicero or Montaigne, have a fear of death. The few times I have found myself in a potentially life-threatening situation I have been too busy trying to deal with the situation to spend any time at all thinking about death. I suppose if I were lying in bed ill, knowing the end was near, I would feel differently. But fear tends to hit me after the fact. Yesterday, I was crossing a busy intersection -- against the light, I admit, but the only cars coming were quite distant. One car, though, I could tell was moving quite fast, fast enough to speed right by me just as walked out the lane it was in. The driver never slowed down a bit. I realized he may have been yammering on his cell phone - against the law, but still done - or otherwise engaged and driving more or less automatically. Or maybe he was madman or somehow enraged over something and didn't give a damn if he hit someone or not. Anyway, as I stepped onto the sidewalk a slight frisson of fear ran paid me a visit.