- Introduction: Philosophy of Death
- When Do Things Die?
- Death and the Disintegration of Personality
- The Person and the Corpse
- Personal Identity and the Survival of Death
- The Evil of Death: What Can Metaphysics Contribute?
- Death and Eternal Recurrence
- Death in Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
- When Death Is There, We Are Not: Epicurus on Pleasure and Death
- The Badness of Death and the Goodness of Life
- The Symmetry Problem
- The Timing Problem
- Death, Value, and Desire
- Death and Rational Emotion
- Retroactive Harms and Wrongs
- The Makropulos Case RevisitedReflections on Immortality and Agency
- The Wrongness of Killing and the Badness of Death
- Abortion and Death
- The Morality of Killing in War: Some Traditional and Nontraditional Views
- The Significance of Death for Animals
- Capital Punishment
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the connection between value and desire with regard to death. It argues that having categorical desires is a necessary condition for death to be bad for those who die, and that the degree to which death is bad bears a close relation to the number and strength of those desires. The chapter also analyzes the principles espoused by Jeff McMahan in his book “The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life.”.
Christopher Belshaw is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University. His other work on death includes 10 Good Questions about Life and Death (Blackwell 2005) and Annihilation: The Sense and Significance of Death (Acumen 2009), as well as a number of book chapters and journal articles. He has also written on environmental philosophy and is working now on a book on animals.
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