Reasons to Live versus Reasons not to Die

Think 10 (28):67-76 (2011)
‘Any reason for living is an excellent reason for not dying’ (Steven Luper-Foy, 'Annihilation'). Some claims seem so clearly right that we don’t think to question them. Steven Luper-Foy’s remark is like that. It borders on the ‘trivially true’ (i.e. so obviously true as to be uninteresting). If I have a reason to live, surely I likewise have a reason not to die. It may then be surprising to learn that so many philosophers disagree with this claim—either directly or by implication. I will look at some of the things people say that stand in opposition to Luper-Foy’s claim. I will also consider what is needed in order to agree with it. The views canvassed cover broad issues concerning life and death, and what matters to us with respect to both.
Keywords death  Epicurus  immortality  Thomas Nagel  reasons to live  what matters in survival
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DOI 10.1017/S1477175611000042
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Thomas Nagel (1979). Mortal Questions. Cambridge University Press.

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