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11. Monday, October 25, 2010

11. Monday, October 25, 2010 - • preparation for death...

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PHL281 - October 25, 2010 Dworkin - Two processes –divine/biological and human/cultural –that yield intrinsically valuable products - Our attitudes towards our lives are structured by these processes Subjective of our lives –their “personal value”– depend on these attitudes Our biological nature yields our experiences, and the capacities – including our susceptibility to pain and pleasure –that allow us to create meaning in our lives Nagel: Death is a m-harm no matter when it happens • Cessation of life means no more chance to put meaning into your life • Pre-natal non-existence not a m-harm, in that you do not exist yet Consider case (3) from last day: 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. The Standard Shape of our Lives • helpless infancy • ongoing growth and skills development through childhood • adulthood: career, family life, creative life, etc. • old age: enjoyment of investments in career, family life, etc.
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Unformatted text preview: • preparation for death? Dworkin used the standard shape of human life to develop a “metric” to measure the amount of loss connected with a death But we each use the standard shape to structure our search for meaning in life - pursing meaning in an age-inappropriate way can be a m-harm: • the 11 year old father • the 90 year old who aspires to be an Olympic volleyball player • the 90 year old who marries a 25-year old? (case 5) Consider cases (1), (2), (4), (6) from first death lecture. Death is not a m-harm when: (1) it ends great and irremediable suffering; OR all of the following are true: (2) It ends a complete life; (3) The one dying is ready for death; (4) She thinks she has had a meaningful life; (5) Her self-assessment is correct . Does a death satisfying (1) or (2)-(5) count as an m-benefit ? Case (7): Immortality Nagel: We should welcome it. Bernard Williams: The “tedium of immortality”...
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