New PDF release: Aging, Death, and Human Longevity: A Philosophical Inquiry

By Christine Overall

ISBN-10: 0520232984

ISBN-13: 9780520232983

With the aid of drugs and know-how we live longer than ever ahead of. As human existence spans have elevated, the ethical and political matters surrounding durability became extra complicated. should still we wish to stay so long as attainable? What are the social ramifications of longer lives? How does an extended existence span swap the way in which we expect in regards to the worth of our lives and approximately loss of life and death? Christine total bargains a transparent and clever dialogue of the philosophical and cultural concerns surrounding this tough and sometimes emotionally charged factor. Her booklet is exclusive in its complete presentation and assessment of the arguments--both old and contemporary--for and opposed to prolonging existence. It additionally proposes a revolutionary social coverage for responding to dramatic raises in lifestyles expectancy. Writing from a feminist standpoint, total highlights the ways in which our biases approximately race, type, and gender have affected our perspectives of aged humans and sturdiness, and her coverage options signify an attempt to beat those biases. She additionally covers the arguments surrounding the query of the "duty to die" and features a provocative dialogue of immortality. After judiciously weighing the advantages and the dangers of prolonging human existence, total persuasively concludes that the size of lifestyles does topic and that its length could make a distinction to the standard and cost of our lives. Her ebook can be an important consultant as we give some thought to our social duties, the which means of human existence, and the clients of residing longer.

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Additional info for Aging, Death, and Human Longevity: A Philosophical Inquiry

Example text

Prolongevitism need not be committed to an irrational denial of the reality and inevitability of death; it is committed only to the promotion of the postponement of death. I think that one could consistently both seek the “meaning” of death, as Callahan advocates, and also resist it. To resist death does not require that one believe that it will not eventually occur. It is indeed true that death is, and probably always will be, inevitable for human beings, and because it is inevitable, we must recognize and acknowledge it.

For these reasons, then, medieval people probably had little basis for clinging to life here on earth and every reason to regard death as a relief and a release. Although Ariès (1974, 93–94) claims that “the [contemporary] need for happiness—the moral duty and the social obligation to contribute to the collective happiness by avoiding any cause for sadness or boredom, by appearing to be always happy, even if in the depths of despair”— produces the interdiction on anything in modern life that is connected with death, I believe that this interdiction has developed because people now recognize only too clearly (even if they did not, in medieval times) that death is the end of any possibility of personal happiness and that the death of other persons can severely compromise one’s own happiness.

His existence defines for him an essentially open-ended possible future, containing the usual mixture of goods and evils that he has found so tolerable in the past. Having been gratuitously introduced to the world by a collection of natural, historical, and social accidents, he finds himself the subject of a life, with an indeterminate and not essentially limited future. Viewed in this way, death, no matter how inevitable, is an abrupt cancellation of indefinitely extensive positive goods. Normality seems to have nothing to do with it, for the fact that we will all inevitably die in a few score years cannot by itself imply that it would not be good to live longer.

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Aging, Death, and Human Longevity: A Philosophical Inquiry by Christine Overall

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