The Metaphysics of Death

The Metaphysics of Death

by John Fischer
     
 

ISBN-10: 0804721041

ISBN-13: 9780804721042

Pub. Date: 04/01/1993

Publisher: Stanford University Press


This collection of seventeen essays deals with the metaphysical, as opposed to the moral issues pertaining to death. For example, the authors investigate (among other things) the issue of what makes death a bad thing for an individual, if indeed death is a bad thing. This issue is more basic and abstract than such moral questions as the particular…  See more details below

Overview


This collection of seventeen essays deals with the metaphysical, as opposed to the moral issues pertaining to death. For example, the authors investigate (among other things) the issue of what makes death a bad thing for an individual, if indeed death is a bad thing. This issue is more basic and abstract than such moral questions as the particular conditions under which euthanasia is justified, if it is ever justified.

Though there are important connections between the more abstract questions addressed in this book and many contemporary moral issues, such as euthanasia, suicide, and abortion, the primary focus of this book is on metaphysical issues concerning the nature of death: What is the nature of the harm or bad involved in death? (If it is not pain, wha is it, and how can it be bad?) Who is the subject of the harm or bad? (if the person is no longer alive, how can he be the subject of the bad? An if he is not the subject, who is? Can one have harm with no subject?) When does the harm take place? (Can a harm take place after its subject ceases to exist? If death harms a person, can the harm take place before the death occurs?) If death can be a bad thing, would immorality be a desirable alternative? This family of questions helps to fram ethe puzzle of why—and how—death is bad.

Other subjects addressed include the Epicurean view othat death is not a misfortune (for the person who dies); the nature of misfortune and benefit; the meaningulness and value of life; and the distinction between the life of a person and the life of a living creature who is not a person. There is an extensive bibiography that includes science-fiction treatments of death and immorality.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804721042
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Publication date:
04/01/1993
Series:
Stanford Series in Philosophy Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
444
Sales rank:
983,706
Product dimensions:
(w) x (h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Contributors
1Introduction: Death, Metaphysics, and Morality1
2Death Knocks31
3Rationality and the Fear of Death41
4Death59
5The Makropulos Case: Reflections on the Tedium of Immortality71
6The Evil of Death93
7How to Be Dead and Not Care: A Defense of Epicurus117
8The Dead135
9The Misfortunes of the Dead157
10Harm to Others169
11Reasons and Persons191
12Why Is Death Bad?219
13Death and the Value of Life231
14Annihilation267
15Epicurus and Annihilation291
16Some Puzzles About the Evil of Death305
17Well-Being and Time327
Notes363
Bibliography403
Index415

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