Christine Overall's Aging, Death, and Human Longevity: A Philosophical Inquiry PDF

By Christine Overall

ISBN-10: 0520232984

ISBN-13: 9780520232983

With the aid of medication and expertise we live longer than ever earlier than. As human lifestyles spans have elevated, the ethical and political concerns surrounding sturdiness became extra complicated. should 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 worth of our lives and approximately dying and demise? Christine total deals a transparent and clever dialogue of the philosophical and cultural matters surrounding this hard and sometimes emotionally charged factor. Her e-book is exclusive in its finished presentation and evaluate of the arguments--both historical 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, classification, and gender have affected our perspectives of aged humans and durability, and her coverage techniques 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 subject and that its period could make a distinction to the standard and price of our lives. Her publication should be a vital advisor as we think of our social tasks, the which means of human existence, and the customers of residing longer.

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Sample text

This view finds a modern-day equivalent in the work of Ariès (1974, 106), who suggests, rather plaintively, that the contemporary denial of death, with its accompanying feeling that “we are non-mortals,” does not “Remember You Must Die” / 39 in any way gladden our lives. Callahan (1998, 253) argues that the average life expectancy now achieved in developed nations is su‹cient to constitute a full life. The life-span framework that is now provided by “nature,” he says, is “perfectly adequate for human life, both collectively and individually” (134).

Moreover, it is unlikely that that someone could be someone whom I could rationally aspire to become, to make myself into through my own choices and actions. I would have to desire to be diªerent, but in ways that would have no particular continuity with my desires and personality as they are now because they would be in no causal relationship with my existing personhood. My death, however, cuts short the survival and life experience of a me that already exists and whose termination will only be a matter of contingent fact.

Preparing for employment and the accumulation of large debts during the period of higher education may create a prolonged period of material dependence, a situation 18 / Introduction that postpones many young people’s arrival at adulthood. 11 Ironically, in the West the initial period of social dependence and absence of or reduction in material and social responsibilities is being extended at the same time that some of the biological markers of maturity are arriving earlier. Consider, for example, the fact that puberty in girls now occurs around age twelve or even eleven, rather than at fourteen, fifteen, or even sixteen, as it did in the past.

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

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