Potentiality, Possibility, and the Irreversibility of Death

Review of Metaphysics 62 (1):61-77 (2008)
This paper considers the issue of cryopreservation and the definition of death from an Aristotelian-Thomistic perspective. A central conceptual focus throughout this discussion is the purportedly irreversible nature of death and the criteria by which a human body is considered to be informed by a rational soul. It concludes that a cryopreserved corpse fails to have “life potentially in it” sufficient to satisfy Aristotle’s definition of ensoulment. Therefore, if the possibility that such a corpse may be successfully preserved and resuscitated comes to fruition, one would have to conclude that the person’s rational soul, which had separated from its body at death, has literally reanimated its resuscitated body. Obviously, this conclusion has theological implications that go beyond the scope of this discussion if we regard bodily resuscitation in this manner as a form of technologically induced resurrection. Another apparent implication of the paper’s argument is that, in a limited sense, death loses its irreversible nature
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0034-6632  
DOI revmetaph200862136
 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
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,478
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Conceivability, Possibility and the Resurrection of Material Beings.Thomas Atkinson - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 80 (2):115-132.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Potentiality, Irreversibility, and Death.John P. Lizza - 2005 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (1):45 – 64.
Death.Shelly Kagan - 2012 - Yale University Press.
The Irreversibility of Death: Reply to Cole.Tom Tomlinson - 1993 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 3 (2):157-165.
The Phenomenon of Death.Edith Wyschogrod - 1973 - New York: Harper & Row.
Varieties of Dualism.Jason T. Eberl - 2010 - International Philosophical Quarterly 50 (1):39-56.
The Conservative Use of the Brain-Death Criterion – a Critique.Tom Tomlinson - 1984 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 9 (4):377-394.
Epicurean Equanimity Towards Death.Kai Draper - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (1):92–114.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
36 ( #145,560 of 2,180,651 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #302,018 of 2,180,651 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums