Confrontations with the Reaper A Philosophical Study of the Nature and Value of Death

ISBN-10: 0195089286

ISBN-13: 9780195089288

Edition: 1992

Authors: Fred Feldman

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Description:

What is death? Do people survive death? What do we mean when we say that someone is "dying"? Presenting a clear and engaging discussion of the classic philosophical questions surrounding death, this book studies the great metaphysical and moral problems of death. In the first part, Feldman shows that a definition of life is necessary before death can be defined. After exploring several of the most plausible accounts of the nature of life and demonstrating their failure, he goes on to propose his own conceptual scheme for death and related concepts. In the second part, Feldman turns to ethical and value-theoretical questions about death. Addressing the ancient Epicurean ethical problem about the evil of death, he argues that death can be a great evil for those who die, even if they do not exist after death, because it may deprive them of the goods they would have enjoyed if they had continued to live. Confrontations with the Reaper concludes with a novel consequentialist theory about the morality of killing, applying it to such thorny practical issues as abortion, suicide, and euthanasia.
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Book details

List price: $59.00
Copyright year: 1992
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 1/13/1994
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 264
Size: 5.25" wide x 5.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.056
Language: English

Introduction: Confronting the Reaper
The Reaper--Mysterious and Evil
The Structure of the Book
The Nature of Death
The Search for Death Itself
The Problems of Death
Conceptual Analysis
Analysis of Death or Criterion for Death?
The Biological Concept of Death
Life as a Part of Death
Life-Functional Theories of Life
Life Itself
Some Preliminary Objections
Aristotle's Life-Functional Analysis of Life
Some Modern Life-Functional Analyses of Life
The Matthews Approach
Conclusion
Vitalist Theories of Life
Vitalism
The Empirical Problem
The Jonah Problem
The Failure of Analyticity
DNA-ism
Genetic Informationism
Problems for Genetic Informationism
The Enigma of Death
The Gift of Life
The Biological Concept of Death
Perrett's Analysis
The Standard Analysis
Puzzles About Suspended Animation
Problems Concerning Fission and Fusion
The Mystery of Death
On Dying as a Process
Two Senses of 'Dying,'
Some Preliminary Proposals
Smart's Analysis of Dying2
Problems for Smart's Analysis
A New Proposal
More Mysteries of Dying2
On Death and Dying2
The Survival of Death
The Termination Thesis
Some Philosophers Who Have Accepted the Termination Thesis
Doubts About the Termination Thesis
The Argument from Definition
The Argument from Dualism
Corpses and People
Death and Nonexistence As
A Materialist Conception of Death
A New Approach to Death
The Lifeline
Death Itself, "a Death," and Being Dead
Death and Life
Death and Existence
Deaths, Lives, and Histories
Death and Humanity
Death and Personality
A Materialist Way of Death
The Value of Death
Epicurus and the Evil of Death
Epicurus's Argument Against the Evil of Death
Difficulties for the First Version of the Argument
A New Version of the Argument
The Fallacy in the New Version
How Death Can Be Bad for the One Who Dies
More Puzzles About the Evil of Death
The Puzzles
Axiological Preliminaries
Things That Are Bad for People
The Evil of Death
Some Proposed Answers
Conclusions
Utilitarianism, Victimism, and the Morality of Killing
"Thou Shalt Not Kill,"
Hedonic Act Utilitarianism and the Morality of Killing
Why HAU Fails to Explain the Wrongness of Killing
Theories Based on Harm to the Victim
And Why They Fail, Too
Why Killing Is Wrong
Ideal Act Utilitarianism
Vitalistic Act Utilitarianism
Hedono-vitalistic Act Utilitarianism
Problems for HVAU
Justicism
Justicized Act Utilitarianism
Abortion and the Failure to Conceive
Three Examples
Justicism, Murder, and the Failure to Conceive
Justicized Act Utilitarianism and the Problem of Abortion
The "Right to Life,"
Advantages of This View
The Morality and Rationality of Suicide
Welcoming the Reaper
Three Arguments for the Immorality of Suicide
An Argument for the Irrationality of Suicide
An Epistemic Argument Against the Rationality of Suicide
"Calculative Rationality" and Suicide
Euthanasia
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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