David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Inquiry 53 (1):68-86 (2010)
This article questions the assumption, held by several philosophers, that the Epicurean argument for death's being ?nothing to us? must be fallacious since its acceptance would undermine the principle that killing is (in general) wrong. Two possible strategies are considered, which the Epicurean-sympathizer might deploy in order to show that the non-badness of death (for the person who dies) is compatible with killing's being wrong. One of these is unsuccessful; the other is more promising. It involves arguing that the wrongness of killing is a ?basic moral certainty? and hence requires no underpinning by the judgement that death is bad. Problems for this proposal, and possible responses to those problems, are considered. Though the strategy is not decisive, it is deemed to be one that the Epicurean could plausibly adopt.
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References found in this work BETA
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1969). On Certainty (Ed. Anscombe and von Wright). Harper Torchbooks.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1998). Philosophical Investigations. Wiley-Blackwell.
Martha Nussbaum (1994). The Therapy of Desire. Princeton University Press.
Nigel Pleasants (2008). Wittgenstein, Ethics and Basic Moral Certainty. Inquiry 51 (3):241 – 267.
Harry S. Silverstein (2000). The Evil of Death Revisited. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 24 (1):116–134.
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