- 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, which analyzes questions about death and immortality, explains the different notions of immortality and discusses three challenges to the idea that any kind of immortality could be appealing to us. It proposes ways of responding to these challenges and argues against the view of the Immortality Curmudgeons, which holds that immortality is not necessarily of any positive value to human beings.
John Martin Fischer is Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, where he has held a University of California President’s Chair (2006‒2010). He has written on various topics in philosophy, including free will and moral responsibility. He has published papers on the metaphysical and ethical dimensions of death, and he is the editor of The Metaphysics of Death (Stanford University Press, 1993). His collection Our Stories (Oxford University Press, 2007) includes papers on death, immortality, and the meaning of life.
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