Immortality

Edited by K. Mitch Hodge (Masaryk University, Queen's University, Belfast)
About this topic
Summary

Although immortality literally means “not mortal,” its more specific and commonly used meaning refers to a conscious entity, or a part of that conscious entity, not being subject to non-existence by death and eternally existing, in whole or in part, once it exists.  Some immortal entities, such as God or gods, are believed to have always existed and are not subject to death.  All known animals, including humans, however, are mortal—meaning, in the least, their physical body dies.  Numerous philosophies and theologies, however, maintain that the death of the body does not entail the nonexistence of conscious entity, in whole or in part.  If the part of the conscious entity (e.g., life force, energy, or atoms) that continues to exist does not also confer and maintain personal identity then such immortality is said to be metaphysically thin.  If, however, the conscious entity maintains its personal identity such immortality is said to metaphysically thick.  In philosophy of religion, it is the latter that has received the lion’s share of attention: specifically how it can be conceived that an individual (human) person can continue to exist beyond the death of the physical body in such a way that she not only retains personhood but also her unique identity.

Several options from various philosophical and religious traditions have been offered as to how a human individual can survive her own death; these include reincarnation, resurrection (of the body), disembodied soul, and ethereal (astral) body.  Reincarnation, also known as transmigration of the soul, has the longest philosophical legacy, and was the type of immortality favored since at least the time of Pythagoras, and accepted by Socrates (through his mouthpiece, Plato).  In this tradition, some type of identity conferring essence (e.g., soul) of the person is said to continue to exist after death and be reborn into another mortal body (with some exceptions) in perpetuity.  Resurrection of the body is the official doctrine of Christianity.  This doctrine states that once an individual dies (immediately or at some future time) God will resurrect (and perfect) the individual in his entirety.  This resurrected individual (including the body) will never die again, and thus is immortal.  The idea of humans continuing to exist after the death of the physical body as a disembodied soul has been discussed in philosophy since at least the time of Plato, but the ideas major exegesis did not come until Descartes.  Descartes argued that he was “a thing that thinks” (i.e., a thinking thing, a mind) and that this thing was his soul.  This soul was an immaterial substance and immortal and separated from the physical body at the time of death.  Whether or not the soul was ever again joined with a physical body was irrelevant.  The essence of a person, and his identity, was his soul, and his soul alone.  The ethereal (astral) body hypothesis has largely been ignored in philosophy, but is perhaps best represented in mythologies, folk tales, religious representations, literature and movies.  It is the idea that a person continues to exist after their physical death as some sort of ghostly, supernatural immortal apparition that is still in some way recognizable as the deceased individual. 

The question of immortality is closely tied to questions of personhood and personal identity.  Can a person be essentialized to one or more characteristics that maintain personhood and their identity?  To what extent is a body necessary for both personhood and identity?  If a person is resurrected, is it the same person or a replica of the original person?  What (if any) identity conferring properties can be used to positively identify a person who has been reincarnated, resurrected, disembodied, or ethereal? 

Immortality also plays an important role in other areas of philosophy of religion, including the problem of evil and subsequent theodicies.  For instance, why would an all-good, all-knowing, all-powerful being (e.g., God) create beings that would suffer death?  Does the death of the physical body serve a divine purpose?  Why would the knowledge that humans are immortal be hidden from them?  Are immortal persons rewarded or punished eternally for their actions during their Earthly life?  If so, is that just? 

The idea that humans and other beings are immortal has largely been taken for granted for most of the history of philosophy.  With the rise of skepticism and atheism in the Modern Era forward, however, arguments for and against immortality have become more and more logically complex, and little is taken for granted. 

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  1. added 2020-05-23
    Das Potências da Memória. A Afirmação da Transitoriedade Histórica E da Eternidade Das Ideias.Augusto B. De Carvalho Dias Leite - 2020 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 61 (145):107-129.
    RESUMO A partir do exame da tradição heraclitiana e platônica sobre a transitoriedade e a imortalidade - conceitos compreendidos como universais - este artigo defende a seguinte antinomia como tese: para haver temporalidade é preciso haver eternidade. Essa tese é demonstrada por meio do estudo e atualização das noções de alma, espírito, ideia e memória, as quais estão conectadas invariavelmente ao tempo passado como princípio ontológico do fenômeno histórico. Para além do ponto de vista filosófico, portanto, da perspectiva específica do (...)
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  2. added 2020-04-08
    Boredom, Human Psychology, and Immortality.Andreas Elpidorou - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly.
    Bernard Williams has famously argued that an immortal life would necessarily be boring. Despite the obvious importance that boredom occupies in Williams’ argument, he says very little about the nature of boredom. In this paper, I argue that attention to the empirical literature on boredom reveals a serious flaw in Williams’ argument. Specifically, I show that there is no available explication of boredom that is supported by the empirical research and which at the same time establishes Williams’ conclusions.
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  3. added 2020-02-26
    God’s Role in a Meaningful Life: New Reflections From Tim Mawson.Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (3):171-191.
    Characteristic of the contemporary field of life's meaning has been the combination of monism in method and naturalism in substance. That is, much of the field has sought to reduce enquiry into life's meaning to one question and to offer a single principle as an answer to it, with this principle typically focusing on ways of living in the physical world as best known by the scientific method. T. J. Mawson's new book, God and the Meanings of Life, provides fresh (...)
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  4. added 2020-02-02
    Immortality, Boredom, and Standing for Something.David Beglin - forthcoming - In Travis Timmerman & Michael Cholbi (eds.), Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives.
    Addresses a common criticism of Williams' so-called "Necessary Boredom Thesis," arguing that the criticism misconstrues the kind of boredom that Williams is worried about. Then offers an independent reason to worry about the Necessary Boredom Thesis, given the relevant construal of boredom. Finally, develops a weaker version of Williams' worries about choosing to live an immortal existence, arguing that immortality threatens to undermine our ability to stand for the things in our lives.
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  5. added 2020-02-02
    Review of The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death. [REVIEW]Subhasis Chattopadhyay - 2020 - Prabuddha Bharata or Awakened India 125 (2):336-337.
    This is a howler of a handbook. The review shows how in the name of academics, philosophers indulge in quid pro quos in high places. They have no clue about what they are writing. As a Benedictine Abbot in the US responded in email to this reviewer: "Yes, indeed, the book is not very serious. When the authors die some day, they will understand better, as we all shall see".
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  6. added 2020-01-28
    Predicting Me: The Route to Digital Immortality?Paul Smart - forthcoming - In Robert W. Clowes, Klaus Gärtner & Inês Hipólito (eds.), The Mind-Technology Problem: Investigating Minds, Selves and 21st Century Artifacts. Berlin, Germany:
    An emerging consensus in cognitive science views the biological brain as a hierarchically-organized predictive processing system that relies on generative models to predict the structure of sensory information. Such a view resonates with a body of work in machine learning that has explored the problem-solving capabilities of hierarchically-organized, multi-layer (i.e., deep) neural networks, many of which acquire and deploy generative models of their training data. The present chapter explores the extent to which the ostensible convergence on a common neurocomputational architecture (...)
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  7. added 2019-11-22
    Always Choose to Live or Choose to Always Live?Daniel Coren - 2018 - Southwest Philosophy Review 34 (2):89-104.
    Bernard Williams (1973) famously argued that if given the choice to relinquish our mortality we should refuse. We should not choose to always live. His piece provoked an entire literature on the desirability of immortality. Intending to contradict Williams, Thomas Nagel claimed that if given the choice between living for a week and dying in five minutes he would always choose to live. I argue that (1) Nagel’s iterating scenario is closer to the original Makropulos case (Čapek’s) that inspired Williams’s (...)
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  8. added 2019-11-19
    Multilevel Strategy for Immortality: Plan A – Fighting Aging, Plan B – Cryonics, Plan C – Digital Immortality, Plan D – Big World Immortality.Alexey Turchin - manuscript
    Abstract: The field of life extension is full of ideas but they are unstructured. Here we suggest a comprehensive strategy for reaching personal immortality based on the idea of multilevel defense, where the next life-preserving plan is implemented if the previous one fails, but all plans need to be prepared simultaneously in advance. The first plan, plan A, is the surviving until advanced AI creation via fighting aging and other causes of death and extending one’s life. Plan B is cryonics, (...)
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  9. added 2019-11-10
    Agency, Narrative, and Mortality.Roman Altshuler - forthcoming - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), Routledge Handbook for the Philosophy of Agency. New York: Routledge.
    Narrative views of agency and identity arise in opposition to reductionism in both domains. While reductionists understand both identity and agency in terms of their components, narrativists respond that life and action are both constituted by narratives, and since the components of a narrative gain their meaning from the whole, life and action not only incorporate their constituent parts but also shape them. I first lay out the difficulties with treating narrative as constitutive of metaphysical identity and turn to its (...)
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  10. added 2019-11-10
    The Significance of Future Generations.Roman Altshuler - forthcoming - In Michael Cholbi & Travis Timmerman (eds.), Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives. Routledge.
    We find meaning and value in our lives by engaging in everyday projects. But, according to a recent argument by Samuel Scheffler, this value doesn’t depend merely on what the projects are about. In many cases, it depends also on the future generations that will replace us. By imagining the imminent extinction of humanity soon after our own deaths, we can recognize both that much of our current valuing depends on a background confidence in the ongoing survival of humanity and (...)
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  11. added 2019-10-22
    Don't Mind the Gap: A Reply to Adam Wood.Turner C. Nevitt - 2016 - Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 4:198–213.
    Most contemporary interpreters of Aquinas think that he rejects the possibility of intermittent or “gappy” existence. Thus they think that the soul’s natural survival after death is a necessary part of Aquinas’s defense of the possibility of the resurrection. Yet this contemporary consensus rests on shaky foundations. For on the basis of a widely neglected quodlibet question, earlier interpreters of Aquinas as eminent as John Capreolus and Francis Sylvester Ferrara recognized that Aquinas reserves to God the power to annihilate material (...)
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  12. added 2019-10-22
    Aquinas on the Death of Christ: A New Argument for Corruptionism.Turner C. Nevitt - 2016 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 90 (1):77-99.
    Contemporary interpreters have entered a new debate over Aquinas’s view on the status of human beings or persons between death and resurrection. Everyone agrees that, for Aquinas, separated souls exist in the interim. The disagreement concerns what happens to human beings—Peter, Paul, and so on. According to corruptionists, Aquinas thought human beings cease to exist at death and only begin to exist again at the resurrection. According to survivalists, however, Aquinas thought human beings continue to exist in the interim, constituted (...)
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  13. added 2019-10-22
    Annihilation, Re-Creation, and Intermittent Existence in Aquinas.Turner C. Nevitt - 2016 - In Stephen Ogden, Gyula Klima & Alex Hall (eds.), The Metaphysics of Personal Identity: Proceedings of the Society for Medieval Logic and Metaphysics Volume 13. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 101–117.
    Aquinas often defends the possibility of the resurrection of the dead by appealing to the survival of the human soul between death and resurrection. Contemporary interpreters suppose that Aquinas does so because he thinks the continued existence of the human soul is metaphysically necessary for the identity of human beings over time. If the human soul perished at death along with the human body, then not even God could bring the same human being back to life—so Aquinas is supposed to (...)
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  14. added 2019-07-24
    Taking Stock of the Risks of Life Without Death.August Gorman - forthcoming - In Travis Timmerman & Michael Cholbi (eds.), Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives. Routledge.
    In this chapter I argue that choosing to live forever comes with the threat of an especially pernicious kind of boredom. However, it may be theoretically possible to circumvent it by finding ways to pursue an infinite number of projects consistent with one’s personality, taking on endlessly pursuable endlessly interesting projects, or by rekindling old projects once you’ve forgotten about them. However, each of these possibilities is contingent upon having certain traits that you are likely not currently in a good (...)
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  15. added 2019-06-06
    Eternity, Boredom, and One’s Part-Whole-Reality Conception.William A. Lauinger - 2014 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 88 (1):1-28.
    Bernard Williams famously argued that eternal life is undesirable for a human because it would inevitably grow intolerably boring. I will argue against Williams and those who share his view. To make my case, I will provide an account of what staves off boredom in our current, earthly-mortal lives, and then I will draw on this account while advancing reasons for thinking that eternal life is desirable, given certain conditions. Though my response to Williams will partly overlap with some prior (...)
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  16. added 2019-06-06
    The Geography of Finitude: Myth and Earth in Plato’s Phaedo.Sara Brill - 2009 - International Philosophical Quarterly 49 (1):5-23.
    Plato’s use of afterlife myths is often viewed as an abandonment of rational discourse for a coercive practice designed to persuade citizens to be concerned about the condition of their souls by appealing to their worst fears about the afterlife. But such interpretations overlook the frequently critical tenor of Plato’s myths. In this paper I develop the claim that Plato appeals to muthos as a means of critiquing various specific logoi by focusing upon the relationship between the myth of the (...)
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  17. added 2019-06-06
    The Unseen Universe: Physical Speculations on a Future State.Balfour Stewart - 1875 - Cambridge University Press.
    In 1875, the geophysicist Balfour Stewart and the mathematician P. G. Tait published the second edition of The Unseen Universe. The book's aim had been 'to overthrow materialism by a purely scientific argument', and its initial success, and the controversy it aroused, prompted this revised edition. The treatise suggests that science and religion could be reconciled, and that by using science, it could be proved that the soul survives after death. The book begins with a historical account of the beliefs (...)
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  18. added 2019-03-28
    Kantian Non-Evidentialism and its German Antecedents: Crusius, Meier, and Basedow.Brian A. Chance - 2019 - Kantian Review 3 (24):359-384.
    This article aims to highlight the extent to which Kant’s account of belief draws on the views of his contemporaries. Situating the non-evidentialist features of Crusius’s account of belief within his broader account, I argue that they include antecedents to both Kant’s distinction between pragmatic and moral belief and his conception of a postulate of pure practical reason. While moving us closer to Kant’s arguments for the first postulate, however, both Crusius’s and Meier’s arguments for the immortality of the soul (...)
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  19. added 2019-03-08
    Value in Very Long Lives.Preston Greene - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (4):416-434.
    As things currently stand, our deaths are unavoidable and our lifespans short. It might be thought that these qualities leave room for improvement. According to a prominent line of argument in philosophy, however, this thought is mistaken. Against the idea that a longer life would be better, it is claimed that negative psychological states, such as boredom, would be unavoidable if our lives were significantly longer. Against the idea that a deathless life would be better, it is claimed that such (...)
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  20. added 2019-02-27
    What Makes Life Meaningful? A Debate.Thaddeus Metz & Joshua Seachris - forthcoming - Routledge.
    A debate between Thaddeus Metz and Joshua Seachris on what makes life meaningful, with emphasis on the potential relevance of God, immortality, narrative and achievements.
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  21. added 2019-02-22
    God, Soul and the Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2019 - Cambridge University Press.
    Part of the Elements Philosophy of Religion series, this short book focuses on the spiritual dimensions of life’s meaning as they have been discussed in the recent English and mainly analytic philosophical literature. The overarching philosophical question that this literature has addressed is about the extent to which, and respects in which, spiritual realities such as God or a soul would confer meaning on our lives. There have been four broad answers to the question, namely: God or a soul is (...)
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  22. added 2019-02-04
    Survival After Death and the Contemporary Mind-Body. Discussion.Charles W. Kegley - 1963 - Memorias Del XIII Congreso Internacional de Filosofía 3:173-179.
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  23. added 2019-02-02
    Mort (Entrée Grand Public, L'Encyclopédie Philosophique).Federico Lauria - 2019 - L'Encyclopédie Philosophique.
    La mort nous afflige, nous angoisse, voire nous terrifie. Qu’est-ce que la mort ? La tristesse et l’angoisse face à la mort sont-elles justifiées ? La mort est-elle un mal ? Vaudrait-il mieux être immortel ? Comment comprendre le deuil ? Cette entrée propose un aperçu des questions principales de la philosophie contemporaine de la mort. Tentons de sonder l’énigme la plus tragique de la vie.
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  24. added 2018-12-08
    Existence Is Evidence of Immortality.Michael Huemer - manuscript
    Time may be infinite in both directions. If it is, then, if persons could live at most once in all of time, the probability that you would be alive now would be zero. But if persons can live more than once, the probability that you would be alive now would be nonzero. Since you are alive now, with certainty, either the past is finite, or persons can live more than once.
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  25. added 2018-11-30
    Near-Death Experiences Are Not Evidence for Either Theism or Atheism.Keith Augustine - 2019 - In Joseph W. Koterski & Graham Oppy (eds.), Theism and Atheism: Opposing Viewpoints in Philosophy. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA. pp. 594-596.
    The failure to secure replicable positive results in near-death experience (NDE) target-identification experiments does not establish the nonexistence of any spiritual realms, but it does serve to substantially challenge positive arguments in favor of the existence of spiritual realms from NDE reports. For if veridical paranormal perception occurs during out-of-body experiences (OBEs) or NDEs, why the failure to find it in all of the controlled experiments that have been undertaken to document it thus far? Various explanations can be put forward, (...)
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  26. added 2018-10-10
    The Unseen Universe; or, Physical Speculations on a Future State [by B. Stewart and P.G. Tait]. Repr.Balfour Stewart & Peter Guthrie Tait - 1889
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  27. added 2018-09-24
    Agency, Life Extension, and the Meaning of Life.Lisa Bortolotti - 2010 - The Monist 93 (1):38-56.
    According to the agency objection to life extension, being constrained as an agent adds to the meaningfulness of human life. Life extension removes constraints, and thus it deprives life of meaning. In the paper, I concede that constrained agency contributes to the mean- ingfulness of human life, but reject the agency objection to life extension in its current form. Even in an extended life, decision-making remains constrained, and many obstacles to the fulfilment of an agent’s goals are preserved. Agents with (...)
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  28. added 2018-09-01
    Meaning in Life in Spite of Death.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Michael Cholbi & Travis Timmerman (eds.), Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives. Routledge.
    In this chapter the author critically explores answers to the question of how immortality would affect the meaningfulness of a person’s life, understood roughly as a life that merits esteem, achieves purposes much more valuable than pleasure, or makes for a good life-story. The author expounds three arguments for thinking that life would be meaningless if it were mortal, and provides objections to them. He then offers a reason for thinking that a mortal life could be meaningful, and responds to (...)
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  29. added 2018-08-03
    The Immortality Requirement for Life's Meaning.Thaddeus Metz - 2003 - Ratio 16 (2):161–177.
    Many religious thinkers hold the immortality requirement, the view that immortality of some kind is necessary for life to have meaning. After clarifying the nature of the immortality requirement, this essay examines three central arguments for it. The article establishes that existing versions of these arguments fail to entail the immortality requirement. The essay then reconstructs the arguments, and it shows that once they do plausibly support the immortality requirement, they equally support the God-centred requirement, the view that God's existence (...)
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  30. added 2018-07-20
    Williams and the Desirability of Body‐Bound Immortality Revisited.A. G. Gorman - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy:1062-1083.
    Bernard Williams argues that human mortality is a good thing because living forever would necessarily be intolerably boring. His argument is often attacked for unfoundedly proposing asymmetrical requirements on the desirability of living for mortal and immortal lives. My first aim in this paper is to advance a new interpretation of Williams' argument that avoids these objections, drawing in part on some of his other writings to contextualize it. My second aim is to show how even the best version of (...)
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  31. added 2018-06-11
    Bootstrapping the Afterlife.Roman Altshuler - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (2).
    Samuel Scheffler defends “The Afterlife Conjecture”: the view that the continued existence of humanity after our deaths—“the afterlife”—lies in the background of our valuing; were we to lose confidence in it, many of the projects we engage in would lose their meaning. The Afterlife Conjecture, in his view, also brings out the limits of our egoism, showing that we care more about yet unborn strangers than about personal survival. But why does the afterlife itself matter to us? Examination of Scheffler’s (...)
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  32. added 2018-06-01
    I See Dead People: Disembodied Souls and Aquinas’s ‘Two-Person’ Problem.Christina Van Dyke - 2014 - In Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy. pp. 25-45.
    Aquinas’s account of the human soul is the key to his theory of human nature. The soul’s nature as the substantial form of the human body appears at times to be in tension with its nature as immaterial intellect, however, and nowhere is this tension more evident than in Aquinas’s discussion of the ‘separated’ soul. In this paper I use the Biblical story of the rich man and Lazarus (which Aquinas took to involve actual separated souls) to highlight what I (...)
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  33. added 2018-05-25
    Classification of Approaches to Technological Resurrection.Alexey Turchin & Chernyakov Maxim - manuscript
    Abstract. Death seems to be a permanent event, but there is no actual proof of its irreversibility. Here we list all known ways to resurrect the dead that do not contradict our current scientific understanding of the world. While no method is currently possible, many of those listed here may become feasible with future technological development, and it may even be possible to act now to increase their probability. The most well-known such approach to technological resurrection is cryonics. Another method (...)
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  34. added 2018-03-20
    Digital Immortality: Theory and Protocol for Indirect Mind Uploading.Alexey Turchin - manuscript
    Future superintelligent AI will be able to reconstruct a model of the personality of a person who lived in the past based on informational traces. This could be regarded as some form of immortality if this AI also solves the problem of personal identity in a copy-friendly way. A person who is currently alive could invest now in passive self-recording and active self-description to facilitate such reconstruction. In this article, we analyze informational-theoretical relationships between the human mind, its traces, and (...)
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  35. added 2018-03-19
    Forever and Again: Necessary Conditions for “Quantum Immortality” and its Practical Implications.Alexey Turchin - 2018 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 28 (1).
    This article explores theoretical conditions necessary for “quantum immortality” (QI) as well as its possible practical implications. It is demonstrated that the QI is a particular case of “multiverse immortality” (MI) which is based on two main assumptions: the very large size of the Universe (not necessary because of quantum effects), and the copy-friendly theory of personal identity. It is shown that a popular objection about the lowering of the world-share (measure) of an observer in the case of QI doesn’t (...)
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  36. added 2017-12-08
    Theories of Consciousness & Death.Gregory Nixon (ed.) - 2016 - New York, USA: QuantumDream.
    What happens to the inner light of consciousness with the death of the individual body and brain? Reductive materialism assumes it simply fades to black. Others think of consciousness as indicating a continuation of self, a transformation, an awakening or even alternatives based on the quality of life experience. In this issue, speculation drawn from theoretic research are presented. -/- Table of Contents Epigraph: From “The Immortal”, Jorge Luis Borges iii Editor’s Introduction: I Killed a Squirrel the Other Day, Gregory (...)
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  37. added 2016-12-26
    Some Remarks on ‘Physicalism and Immortality’—Reply to David Mouton: Tyson Anderson.Tyson Anderson - 1974 - Religious Studies 10 (1):81-84.
    In a recent articles David Mouton has argued that immortality is compatible with one sort of physicalism. I believe that he fails to establish this thesis and that, moreover, this article contains several misconceptions having to do with the topic of immortality.
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  38. added 2016-12-08
    The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death.Ben Bradley, Fred Feldman & Jens Johansson (eds.) - 2012 - Oxford University Press USA.
    Death has long been a pre-occupation of philosophers, and this is especially so today. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death collects 21 newly commissioned essays that cover current philosophical thinking of death-related topics across the entire range of the discipline. These include metaphysical topics--such as the nature of death, the possibility of an afterlife, the nature of persons, and how our thinking about time affects what we think about death--as well as axiological topics, such as whether death is bad (...)
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  39. added 2016-12-08
    Surviving Resurrection.Andrei A. Buckareff & Joel S. Van Wagenen - 2010 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 67 (3):123 - 139.
    In this paper we examine and critique the constitution view of the metaphysics of resurrection developed and defended by Lynne Rudder Baker. Baker identifies three conditions for an adequate metaphysics of resurrection. We argue that one of these, the identity condition, cannot be met on the constitution view given the account of personal identity it assumes. We discuss some problems with the constitution theory of personal identity Baker develops in her book, Persons and Bodies. We argue that these problems render (...)
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  40. added 2016-12-08
    The Way of Immortality. [REVIEW]K. B. L. - 1956 - Review of Metaphysics 9 (4):702-703.
    An ebullient mixture of metaphors into a vision of a here-and-now realization of the potencies of the Spirit as it stretches out "celestial antennae" to contact the Dynamic Power of Life.--L. K. B.
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  41. added 2016-10-16
    Should I Choose to Never Die? Williams, Boredom, and the Significance of Mortality.David Beglin - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (8):2009-2028.
    Bernard Williams’ discussion of immortality in “The Makropulos Case: Reflections on the Tedium of Immortality” has spawned an entire philosophical literature. This literature tends to focus on one of Williams’ central claims: if we were to relinquish our mortality, we would necessarily become alienated from our existence and environment—“bored,” in his terms. Many theorists have defended this claim; many others have challenged it. Even if this claim is false, though, it still isn’t obvious that we should choose to relinquish our (...)
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  42. added 2016-10-09
    Boltzmannian Immortality.Christian Loew - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (4):761-776.
    Plausible assumptions from Cosmology and Statistical Mechanics entail that it is overwhelmingly likely that there will be exact duplicates of us in the distant future long after our deaths. Call such persons “Boltzmann duplicates,” after the great pioneer of Statistical Mechanics. In this paper, I argue that if survival of death is possible at all, then we almost surely will survive our deaths because there almost surely will be Boltzmann duplicates of us in the distant future that stand in appropriate (...)
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  43. added 2016-09-23
    Against the Tedium of Immortality.Donald W. Bruckner - 2012 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (5):623-644.
    Abstract In a well-known paper, Bernard Williams argues that an immortal life would not be worth living, for it would necessarily become boring. I examine the implications for the boredom thesis of three human traits that have received insufficient attention in the literature on Williams? paper. First, human memory decays, so humans would be entertained and driven by things that they experienced long before but had forgotten. Second, even if memory does not decay to the extent necessary to ward off (...)
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  44. added 2016-05-07
    نیاز جاودانگی برای معنای زندگی (Farsi: 'The Immortality Requirement for Life's Meaning').Thaddeus Metz - 2013 - Falsafeh 6 (72):81-90.
    Persian translation by Seyyed Mostafa Mousavi A’zam of 'The Immortality Requirement for Life's Meaning' (Ratio 2003).
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  45. added 2016-05-07
    The Immortality Requirement for Life's Meaning (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2012 - In Joshua Seachris (ed.), Exploring the Meaning of Life: An Anthology and Guide. Wiley. pp. 416-427.
    Reprint of an article that initially appeared in Ratio (2003).
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  46. added 2016-04-18
    Empathy and Intersubjectivity.Joshua May - 2017 - In Heidi Maibom (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Empathy. New York: Routledge. pp. 169-179.
    Empathy is intersubjective in that it connects us mentally with others. Some theorists believe that by blurring the distinction between self and other empathy can provide a radical form of altruism that grounds all of morality and even a kind of immortality. Others are more pessimistic and maintain that in distorting the distinction between self and other empathy precludes genuine altruism. Even if these positions exaggerate self-other merging, empathy’s intersubjectivity can perhaps ground ordinary altruism and the rational recognition that one (...)
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  47. added 2016-03-05
    Aquinas and Aristotelian Hylomorphism.Raymond Hain - 2015 - In Matthew Levering & Gilles Emery (eds.), Aristotle in Aquinas's Theology. Oxford University Press. pp. 48-69.
    This essay first develops St. Thomas Aquinas’s appropriation of Aristotle's hylomorphic account of human nature by considering Aquinas’s commentary on the De anima and Aquinas's own mature account of human nature in the Summa Theologiae. It is then made clear how a series of problems arises for Aquinas’s position based on whether we emphasize body/soul unity or the special status of the intellectual soul, taking as the central difficulty the status of the disembodied soul between death and resurrection. In conclusion (...)
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  48. added 2016-01-25
    How Must We Be for the Resurrection to Be Good News?Chad Engelland - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:245-261.
    While the promise of the resurrection appears wonderful, it is also perplexing: How can the person raised be one and the same person as the one that dies? And if the raised person is not the same, why should any of us mortals regard the promise of the resurrection as good news? In this paper, I articulate the part-whole structure of human nature that supports belief in the sameness of the resurrected person’s identity and the desirability of the resurrection: the (...)
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  49. added 2016-01-11
    Immortality.Godehard Brüntrup - 2015 - Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception 12.
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  50. added 2015-11-27
    Agency, Scarcity, and Mortality.Luca Ferrero - 2015 - The Journal of Ethics 19 (3-4):349-378.
    It is often argued, most recently by Samuel Scheffler, that we should reconcile with our mortality as constitutive of our existence: as essential to its temporal structure, to the nature of deliberation, and to our basic motivations and values. Against this reconciliatory strategy, I argue that there is a kind of immortal existence that is coherently conceivable and potentially desirable. First, I argue against the claim that our existence has a temporal structure with a trajectory that necessarily culminates in an (...)
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