Lecture 18 - The badness of death, Part III; Immortality, Part I

author: Shelly Kagan, Department of Philosophy, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Feb. 12, 2010,   recorded: March 2007,   views: 376
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Description

The discussion of the badness of death continues by asking whether it is bad that we do not exist before our birth. The views of a number of contemporary philosophers, such as Tom Nagle, Fred Feldman, and Derek Parfit, are introduced. Then Professor Kagan turns to the subject of immortality. Would it be desirable to live forever, and if so, under what circumstances one might enjoy such a prolonged existence? The lecture concludes with Bernard Williams' take on immortality which posits that no kind of human life can continue to be enjoyable and attractive for eternity.

Reading assignment:

Montaigne, Michel de. "That to Philosophize is to Learn to Die" In The Complete Essays.

Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver's Travels, Part III, chapter 10.

Williams, Bernard. "The Makropulos Case: Reflections on the Tedium of Immortality." In Language, Metaphysics, and Death. Edited by John Donnelly. New York: Fordham University Press, 1978. pp. 229-242

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