David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
This thesis examines the moral implications of the metaphysical nature of death. I begin with the Epicurean arguments which hold that death is morally irrelevant for the one who dies, and that one should regard it accordingly. I defend the Epicurean claim that death simpliciter can be neither good nor bad from objections which purport to show that the negative features of death are bad for the one who dies. I establish that existence is a necessary condition for a person’s being morally benefited or wronged, and since death is the privation of existence, death cannot be bad for the person who dies. To account for the commonly-held belief that death is an evil, I explain that the prospect of death can be morally relevant to persons while they are alive as death is one of the many states of affairs that may prevent the satisfaction of persons’ desires for the goods of life. I claim that categorical desires ground a disutility by which death can rationally be regarded as an evil to be avoided and feared. I then consider an infinite life as a possible attractive alternative to a finite life. I argue that a life which is invulnerable to death cannot be a desirable human existence, as many of our human values are inseparable from the finite temporal structure of life. I conclude that death simpliciter can be neither good nor bad, but the fact of death has two moral implications for living persons: death as such is instrumentally good (it is a necessary condition by which the value of life is recognized); and our own individual deaths can rationally be regarded as an evil to be avoided.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
James W. Evra (1984). Death. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 5 (2).
Ben Bradley (2004). When is Death Bad for the One Who Dies? Noûs 38 (1):1–28.
Shelly Kagan (2012). Death. Yale University Press.
Anthony L. Brueckner & John Martin Fischer (1986). Why is Death Bad? Philosophical Studies 50 (2):213-221.
Ben Bradley (2007). How Bad is Death? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):111-127.
John Martin Fischer (ed.) (1993). The Metaphysics of Death. Stanford University Press.
Added to index2010-07-22
Total downloads31 ( #57,713 of 1,103,233 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #85,078 of 1,103,233 )
How can I increase my downloads?