Superlongevity and utilitarianism

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):581 – 595 (2007)
Peter Singer has argued that there are good utilitarian reasons for rejecting the prospect of superlongevity: developing technology to double (or more) the average human lifespan. I argue against Singer's view on two fronts. First, empirical research on happiness indicates that the later years of life are (on average) the happiest, and there is no reason to suppose that this trend would not continue if superlongevity were realized. Second, it is argued that there are good reasons to suppose that there will be a certain amount of self-selection: the happiest are more likely to adopt superlongevity technology. This means that the adoption of superlongevity technology will have the effect of raising the level of aggregate utility.
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DOI 10.1080/00048400701654846
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Peter Singer (1993). Practical Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
Thomas Hurka (1993). Perfectionism. Oxford University Press.

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