The Metaphysics of Death

Stanford University Press (1993)
This collection of seventeen essays deals with the metaphysical, as opposed to the moral, issues pertaining to death. For example, the authors investigate (among other things) the issue of what makes death a bad thing for an individual, if indeed death is a bad thing. This issue is more basic and abstract than such moral questions as the particular conditions under which euthanasia is justified, if it is ever justified. Though there are important connections between the more abstract questions addressed in this book and many contemporary moral issues, such as euthanasia, suicide, and abortion, the primary focus of this book is on metaphysical issues concerning the nature of death: What is the nature of the harm or bad involved in death? (If it is not pain, what is it, and how can it be bad?) Who is the subject of the harm or bad? (If the person is no longer alive, how can he be the subject of the bad? And if he is not the subject, who is? Can one have harm with no subject?) When does the harm take place? (Can a harm take place after its subject ceases to exist? If death harms a person, can the harm take place before the death occurs?) If death can be a bad thing, would immortality be a desirable alternative? This family of questions helps to frame the puzzle of why - and how - death is bad. Other subjects addressed include the Epicurean view that death is not a misfortune and benefit; the meaningfulness and value of life; and the distinction between the life of a person and the life of a living creature who is not a person. There is an extensive bibliography that includes science-fiction treatments of death and immortality.
Keywords Death
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book $16.00 used (79% off)   $67.51 new (10% off)   $75.00 direct from Amazon    Amazon page
Call number BD444.M429 1993
ISBN(s) 0804720460  
 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: 24,411
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
Aaron Smuts (2013). The Good Cause Account of the Meaning of Life. Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):536-562.
John Martin Fischer (1994). Why Immortality is Not so Bad. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 2 (2):257 – 270.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

3 ( #666,096 of 1,924,732 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #308,186 of 1,924,732 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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