The Misfortune of Death



To increase life spans is to delay death, and by exploring why death is bad for the one who dies we can appreciate the value of longevity. The idea that death is bad, however, has been questioned since ancient times. Epicurus and Lucretius raise substantive doubts about how death can be a misfortune for the deceased and in so doing question the value of living longer. In disputing these doubts and arguing that death can be a misfortune, my aim will be to show that longevity is an important value of the good life. Nevertheless, I will also argue that immortality would be undesirable and that it is possible to live too long, even when life appears to be good.


Good Life Personal Identity Genetic Identity Intelligent Adult Normal Life Span 
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© Anthony Farrant 2010

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