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

By Christine Overall

With assistance from drugs and know-how we live longer than ever prior to. As human existence spans have elevated, the ethical and political matters surrounding sturdiness became extra complicated. may still we wish to stay so long as attainable? What are the social ramifications of longer lives? How does an extended lifestyles span switch the best way we predict concerning the price of our lives and approximately demise and loss of life? Christine total deals a transparent and clever dialogue of the philosophical and cultural matters surrounding this hard and sometimes emotionally charged factor. Her booklet is exclusive in its entire presentation and evaluate of the arguments--both historic and contemporary--for and opposed to prolonging existence. It additionally proposes a revolutionary 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, category, and gender have affected our perspectives of aged humans and durability, and her coverage concepts characterize an attempt to beat those biases. She additionally covers the arguments surrounding the query of the "duty to die" and features a provocative dialogue of immortality. After judiciously weighing the advantages and the dangers of prolonging human existence, total persuasively concludes that the size of lifestyles does subject and that its period could make a distinction to the standard and cost of our lives. Her ebook might be a necessary advisor as we ponder our social obligations, the which means of human existence, and the customers of residing longer.

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

Sample text

Ecclesiastes 3:1–2 Apologists seek to remind us that death is normal and natural. “Even if the soul were not immortal, [Cicero said,] it is desirable that the duration of life be limited just as a play is limited in length” (Gruman 1997, 14–15). ” As Lucretius puts it, “A certain bound of life is fixed to mortals; nor can death be avoided, [n]or can we exempt ourselves from undergoing it” (1997, 143). And Callahan (1998, 116) writes, “A life marked by a rise in possibilities, followed by a destructive decline—the movement from youth to old age—is surely in one respect fearful and intolerable.

Thus, apologists regard modern prolongevitism as a manifestation of hatred of the body, love of the self, and denial of reality. The fight against death is said to cause the vilification of old age (Bell 1992, 84). Callahan writes: By its tacit implication that in the quest for health lies, perhaps, the secret of the meaning of life, modern medicine has misled people into thinking that the ills of the flesh, and mortality itself, 32 / “Remember You Must Die” are not to be understood and integrated into a balanced view of life but simply to be fought and resisted.

At that point in life many people begin, or are expected to begin, a new life phase distinct from their earlier working lives. 15 When I use the terms old or elderly, I shall therefore mean, unless otherwise indicated, the period of life from sixtyfive onward. LOOKING AHEAD In the next chapter I begin the investigation of the two main philosophical and cultural perspectives on human longevity. Chapter 2 is devoted to evaluating apologism, the view that the prolongation of life is neither possible nor desirable.

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