Download e-book for iPad: Aging, Death, and Human Longevity: A Philosophical Inquiry by Christine Overall

By Christine Overall

ISBN-10: 0520232984

ISBN-13: 9780520232983

With assistance from medication and know-how we live longer than ever prior to. As human lifestyles spans have elevated, the ethical and political matters surrounding toughness became extra advanced. may still we wish to stay so long as attainable? What are the social ramifications of longer lives? How does an extended lifestyles span swap the way in which we predict concerning the price of our lives and approximately demise and demise? Christine total deals a transparent and clever dialogue of the philosophical and cultural concerns surrounding this tough and infrequently emotionally charged factor. Her ebook is exclusive in its entire presentation and review of the arguments--both old and contemporary--for and opposed to prolonging existence. It additionally proposes a innovative social coverage for responding to dramatic raises in existence expectancy. Writing from a feminist viewpoint, total highlights the ways in which our biases approximately race, type, and gender have affected our perspectives of aged humans and toughness, and her coverage innovations symbolize an attempt to beat those biases. She additionally covers the arguments surrounding the query of the "duty to die" and encompasses a provocative dialogue of immortality. After judiciously weighing the advantages and the hazards 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 publication may be an important consultant as we ponder our social tasks, the which means of human lifestyles, and the customers of dwelling longer.

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

Sample text

Precisely because we made those past advances, we can now aªord to think about changing our priorities; we are now far better oª. The second error is to believe that the future must always repeat the past, that because we were successful earlier with one group of diseases, we will be equally successful with another. . We have now, in general . . entered the era of chronic disease and illness as well as conditions associated with advanced old age, and they are proving far more resistant to conquest.

Such an approach to the justification of apologism dates back at least as far as the Roman philosopher Lucretius (99/94–55/51 BCE), whose work was strongly influenced by Epicurus (341–270 BCE). Lucretius believes that people attempt to prolong their lives mainly because they have a mistaken horror of being dead. In his long philosophical poem On the Nature of Things, Lucretius writes, “We may be assured that in death there is nothing to be dreaded by us; that he who does not exist, cannot become miserable; and that it makes not the least diªerence to a man, when immortal death has ended his mortal life, that he was ever born at all” (1997, 137).

In Chapter 5 I turn to the idea of immortality. My focus is not the usual philosophical question of whether immortality is possible but the far less often examined issue of whether a life without death is desirable. Assessing the ostensible value of immortality requires, in Chapter 6, a deeper exploration of the nature of selfhood and of the possible meanings of human lives within a context of much longer existence. In Chapter 7 I conclude the book with a discussion of the general social-policy implications of the implementation of a qualified version of 22 / Introduction prolongevitism.

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

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