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

By Christine Overall

With the aid of drugs and expertise we live longer than ever earlier than. As human existence 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 expect in regards to the worth of our lives and approximately loss of life and demise? Christine total bargains a transparent and clever dialogue of the philosophical and cultural matters surrounding this tough and infrequently emotionally charged factor. Her e-book is exclusive in its accomplished presentation and evaluate 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 point of view, total highlights the ways in which our biases approximately race, classification, and gender have affected our perspectives of aged humans and durability, and her coverage strategies 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 dangers of prolonging human existence, total persuasively concludes that the size of existence does topic and that its length could make a distinction to the standard and cost of our lives. Her publication could be an important advisor as we contemplate our social duties, the which means of human existence, and the customers of residing longer.

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Extra resources for Aging, Death, and Human Longevity: A Philosophical Inquiry

Sample text

Both sorts of prolongation of human life have occurred within the last century and are still occurring. Elderly people are living longer and more healthy and vigorous lives. In addition, the earlier stages of people’s lives are also being extended, primarily by means of new social (rather than biological) conditions that allow the redefinition and reconstruction of life stages. For example, acquiring the education necessary for functioning in a complex world demands the prolongation of the period of relative immaturity that we think of as childhood.

Therefore any death entails the loss of some life that its victim would have led had he not died at that or any earlier point” (1975, 407, his emphasis; cf. Feldman 1992, 138–139). In sum, I agree that the state of death itself ought not to be feared or dreaded, that the time after we are dead may well be infinite ( just as the time before we were born may have been infinite), and that death is the final end of every human life no matter how long it may be. Nevertheless, none of these facts gives us any reason not to resist our death and to want to prolong the brief lives that we do have.

For example, with respect to education, not only are individuals able to devote a growing number of years to training and education, but they are also likely to return for formal education at stages of their lives beyond the first two decades. To take another obvious example, if, as is possible in the West, a woman knows she is likely to live well past the age of sixty-five, at least partly because pregnancy and childbirth have become much safer, then she has at least one fewer reason for worrying about having children relatively late in her reproductive years.

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