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The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 535–538 | Cite as

Steven Luper, The Philosophy of Death

Cambridge University Press, 2009, 253 pp., ISBN 978-90-521-70912-5, $28.99 (pb)
  • Frederik Kaufman
Book Review
  • 123 Downloads

The back cover proclaims that this book “is a lively and engaging philosophical treatment of a perennially fascinating and relevant subject.” The subject is ever relevant and darkly fascinating, for sure, but the book is exhausting. It is written in that heavy analytic style that saps the life out of any subject, even a subject as intense and personally compelling as death. However, if one can somehow overlook the pointless symbolization, minute qualifications, and many other technical refinements that are supposed to clarify but wind up distracting instead, this book offers the intrepid reader quite a bit. It is a comprehensive discussion of the metaphysical and moral aspects of death, and death’s logical precursor, killing. Steven Luper is a major contributor to this fast-growing area of contemporary philosophy and he gives us a panoramic sweep of current literature, while making some important arguments of his own along the way.

On the plausible assumption that death is annihilation...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and ReligionIthaca CollegeIthacaUSA

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