10. Wednesday, October 20, 2010

10. Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - The Meaning of Death...

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The Meaning of Death OCTOBER 20, 2010 Death • Abortion discussion was also about death in a way: the death of the fetus • Because fetus is not yet the subject of experiences, we did not focus on the inner world of the one dying • As we mature, we come to recognize our mortality • What should we make of it for ourselves? • Does it harm or benefit us? (Dworkin calls this the “personal value”[73] of a life.) Some Cases (1) Someone in severe pain which cannot be lessened, or can only be lessened in such a way that she is left in a stupor (2) A university student who has just ‘set out’ in life (3) A 90-year old, who has had a family and/or a career, and has been a success at both; but she’s ready to die (4) A university student who has been ‘dumped’ by his girlfriend, leaving him ready to die (5) A 90-year old man, who has just married for the first time (say, a 25-year-old woman) and has just started to build a family, after devoting many years to his career (6) A 50-year old, former television executive, who has had a severe accident which has left her with the mind of a 3 year old. She’s happy —as a three year old, though. (7) A woman has a fairly normal life —a family, a career, etc. —but while her husband, and eventually her children, grow old and die around her, she just continues to get older, up to age 110 and beyond Lucretius • Roman philosopher, c. 98-55 BC • famous philosophical poem, de Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) • Follower of Epicurus, c. 341-271 BC • Holds that “death is nothing to us” • When you are, death isn’t; when death is, you aren’t • Death is neither good nor bad for you You shouldn’t fear or welcome death reduce your needs, do not search for luxury but find pleasure in the world around you - Epicurus says that the reason death is nothing to us, because we are not around to let it happen to us - the mistake that we make, it projecting ourselves into this period of non-existence Lucretius’s Main Argument
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This note was uploaded on 11/18/2011 for the course PHL 281H1 taught by Professor Professorainslie during the Fall '10 term at University of Toronto- Toronto.

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10. Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - The Meaning of Death...

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