Posthumous Harm

American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (1):63 - 72 (2004)
Abstract
According to Epicurus (1966a,b), neither death, nor anything that occurs later, can harm those who die, because people who die are not made to suffer as a result of either. In response, many philosophers (e.g., Nagel 1970, Feinberg 1984, and Pitcher 1984) have argued that Epicurus is wrong on both counts. They have defended the mortem thesis: death may harm those who die. They have also defended the post-mortem thesis: posthumous events may harm people who die. Their arguments for this joint view are by now quite familiar, and there is no need to rehearse them here (for a summary, see Luper 2002). Instead, our topic is a third position, which carves out intermediate ground between the other two. The intermediate view takes the mortem thesis for granted, like the critics of Epicurus, but rejects the post-mortem thesis, like Epicurus himself. For Epicurus’ project—the attainment of ataraxia, or equanimity—the intermediate view is almost useless (we are not tranquil if we regard death as a tragedy whose peculiarity is that it frees us from the possibility of any further misfortune); however, it is far more plausible than Epicurus’ own position since it avoids his absurd claim that death cannot harm us, while retaining his view that events occurring while we are dead and gone cannot harm us. According to the proponent of the intermediate view, when we understand the harm death inflicts, we must reject the idea that events following death can be bad for us. The damage death itself does is so severe that people are not subject to harm by any subsequent events. Thus the intermediate view rests on the mortem thesis together with the immunity thesis: death leaves its victims immune from posthumous harm.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Steven Luper (2007). Mortal Harm. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (227):239–251.
    Steven Luper (2005). Past Desires and the Dead. Philosophical Studies 126 (3):331 - 345.
    Similar books and articles
    Brooke Alan Trisel (2007). What is a Premature Death? Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy 11:54-82.
    Douglas W. Portmore (2007). Desire Fulfillment and Posthumous Harm. American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (1):27 - 38.
    Steven Luper (2005). Past Desires and the Dead. Philosophical Studies 126 (3):331 - 345.
    Douglas W. Portmore (2007). Welfare and Posthumous Harm. American Philosophical Quarterly 44:27 - 38.
    Dan Moller (2006). Killing and Dying. American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (3):235 - 247.
    Stephan Blatti (2012). Death's Distinctive Harm. American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (4):317-30.
    James Stacey Taylor (2008). Harming the Dead. Journal of Philosophical Research 33:185-202.
    Steven Luper (2007). Mortal Harm. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (227):239–251.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    60 ( #21,208 of 1,088,428 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    3 ( #30,936 of 1,088,428 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.