The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Death

Overview

Death has long been a pre-occupation of philosophers, and this is especially so today. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death collects 21 newly commissioned essays that cover current philosophical thinking of death-related topics across the entire range of the discipline. These include metaphysical topics—such as the nature of death, the possibility of an afterlife, the nature of persons, and how our thinking about time affects what we think about death—as well as axiological topics, such as whether death is ...

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Overview

Death has long been a pre-occupation of philosophers, and this is especially so today. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death collects 21 newly commissioned essays that cover current philosophical thinking of death-related topics across the entire range of the discipline. These include metaphysical topics—such as the nature of death, the possibility of an afterlife, the nature of persons, and how our thinking about time affects what we think about death—as well as axiological topics, such as whether death is bad for its victim, what makes it bad to die, what attitude it is fitting to take towards death, the possibility of posthumous harm, and the desirability of immortality. The contributors also explore the views of ancient philosophers such as Aristotle, Plato and Epicurus on topics related to the philosophy of death, and questions in normative ethics, such as what makes killing wrong when it is wrong, and whether it is wrong to kill fetuses, non-human animals, combatants in war, and convicted murderers.

With chapters written by a wide range of experts in metaphysics, ethics, and conceptual analysis, and designed to give the reader a comprehensive view of recent developments in the philosophical study of death, this Handbook will appeal to a broad audience in philosophy, particularly in ethics and metaphysics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This handbook offers a diverse survey of contemporary work with some discussion of its historical touchstones (particularly the thought of Epicurus and Lucretius). Topics range from ordinary-language analysis of the concept of death, and the associated problems personal identity and temporal persistence, to value-oriented examination of whether death is bad or evil, the possibility and value of immortality, and what constitutes the wrongness of killing. Contributors make frequent and helpful use of thought experiments and references to popular culture to ensure that difficult concepts and arguments are clear. The argumentation will be accessible for those possessing basic familiarity with analytic methodology."—D.A. Forbes, CHOICE
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195388923
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/3/2012
  • Series: Oxford Handbooks Series
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Ben Bradley is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse University.

Fred Feldman is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Jens Johannson is a postdoctoral fellow at the Uehiro Centre, Oxford University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Philosophy of Death
Ben Bradley, Fred Feldman, Jens Johansson

1. When Do Things Die?
Cody Gilmore

2. Death and the Disintegration of Personality
Fred Feldman

3. The Person and the Corpse
Eric Olson

4. Personal Identity and the Survival of Death
Dean Zimmerman

5. The Evil of Death: What Can Metaphysics Contribute?
Theodore Sider

6. Death and Eternal Recurrence
Lars Bergström

7. Death in Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
Gareth B. Matthews

8. When Death Is There, We Are Not: Epicurus on Pleasure and Death
Phillip Mitsis

9. The Badness of Death and the Goodness of Life
John Broome

10. The Symmetry Problem
Roy Sorensen

11. The Timing Problem
Jens Johansson

12. Death, Value, and Desire
Christopher Belshaw

13.Death and Rational Emotion
Kai Draper

14. Retroactive Harms and Wrongs
Steven Luper

15. Immortality
John Martin Fischer

16. The Makropulos Case Revisited: Reflections on Immortality and Agency
Connie Rosati

17. The Wrongness of Killing and the Badness of Death
Matthew Hanser

18. Abortion and Death
Don Marquis

19. The Morality of Killing in War
Frances Kamm

20. The Significance of Death for Animals
Alastair Norcross

21. Capital Punishment
Torbjörn Tännsjö

Index

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