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

By Christine Overall

With assistance from medication and know-how we live longer than ever sooner than. As human existence spans have elevated, the ethical and political concerns surrounding toughness 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 switch the best way we expect in regards to the worth of our lives and approximately loss of life and loss of life? Christine total deals a transparent and clever dialogue of the philosophical and cultural concerns surrounding this hard and sometimes emotionally charged factor. Her publication is exclusive in its finished presentation and overview of the arguments--both old and contemporary--for and opposed to prolonging lifestyles. It additionally proposes a innovative social coverage for responding to dramatic raises in existence 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 ideas characterize an attempt to beat those biases. She additionally covers the arguments surrounding the query of the "duty to die" and contains a provocative dialogue of immortality. After judiciously weighing the advantages and the dangers of prolonging human lifestyles, total persuasively concludes that the size of lifestyles does subject and that its length could make a distinction to the standard and cost of our lives. Her e-book could be an important advisor as we think of our social duties, the which means of human existence, and the clients of dwelling longer.

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

Sample text

He says that because we feel no regrets about the time that elapsed before we were born, we should likewise feel no regrets about the time that will elapse after we cease to exist: “Consider, also, how ut- “Remember You Must Die” / 25 terly unimportant to us was the past antiquity of infinite time, that elapsed before we were born. This, then, nature exhibits to us as a specimen of the time which will be again after our death. ” (Lucretius 1997, 140). 1 I’m not completely convinced that people feel no regrets about their nonexistence during the time that elapsed before they were born.

Epicurus taught that “one could be just as happy in a short life as in a long one, and, therefore, the prolongation of life was not an important matter” (Gruman 1977, 14). Lucretius provides a developed form of this argument. He imagines that what he calls Universal Nature speaks as follows to a man who fears dying: Why do you groan and weep, at the thought of death? For if your past and former life has been an object of gratification to you, and all your blessings have not, as if poured into a leaky vessel, flowed away and been lost without pleasure, why do you not, O unreasonable man, retire like a guest satisfied with life, and take your undisturbed rest with resignation?

Nor is there any moral obligation to be preoccupied with the fact of death and its inevitability. Although, as I suggested in Chapter 1, we should “remember that we must die,” I see no greater a priori value in focusing on death, especially in old age, than, say, in devoting oneself to the arts, travel, relationships, or work. When old age is prolonged, the advantage, according to some prolongevists, is that death is, eventually, not unexpected (Gruman 1977, 70); it arrives, as anticipated, in extreme old age, after many years of worthwhile experience and activity.

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