Epicurus and the harm of death

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (3):358 – 364 (1999)
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Epicurus notoriously argued that death at no time is a harm because before death there is no harm and after death there is no victim. The denial that death can be a harm to the one who dies has been challenged by various claims including (1) death is eternally bad for the victim (Feldman), (2) it is before death that it is bad for the victim (Feinberg and Pitcher), (3) death is bad for the victim but at no particular time (Nagel), and (4) it is at the time of death that death is bad for the victim (Lamont). Nagel's account is more plausible and is consistent with the view that the temporal location of the harm of untimely death is best understood as the time when the decedent might otherwise have lived. (edited)



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William Grey
University of Queensland

Citations of this work

Desire satisfaction, death, and time.Duncan Purves - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):799-819.
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Mortal harm.Steven Luper - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (227):239–251.
Death.Steven Luper - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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