By Christine Overall

With the aid of medication and expertise we live longer than ever earlier than. As human existence spans have elevated, the ethical and political matters surrounding durability became extra complicated. may still we wish to reside so long as attainable? What are the social ramifications of longer lives? How does an extended existence span swap the way in which we expect in regards to the price of our lives and approximately dying and death? Christine total deals a transparent and clever dialogue of the philosophical and cultural concerns surrounding this hard and sometimes emotionally charged factor. Her e-book is exclusive in its entire presentation and assessment 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 lifestyles 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 innovations symbolize an attempt to beat those biases. She additionally covers the arguments surrounding the query of the "duty to die" and contains a provocative dialogue of immortality. After judiciously weighing the advantages and the hazards of prolonging human lifestyles, total persuasively concludes that the size of existence does subject and that its period could make a distinction to the standard and cost of our lives. Her booklet may be an important advisor as we ponder our social obligations, the which means of human existence, and the clients of residing longer.

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Additional info for Aging, Death, and Human Longevity: A Philosophical Inquiry

Sample text

People dread a time when their capacities may decline, when they could be sick, and when disabilities may multiply. In discussing the desirability of longevity I’ve sometimes encountered a type of ad hominem argument that claims that only young or middleaged people are prolongevists, while older individuals, with the greater “Remember You Must Die” / 41 wisdom of age, are able to accept death. The implication is that prolongevitism is a state of mind that one eventually outgrows. But even if there were a correlation between one’s age and one’s tendency to accept apologism (and there is no evidence that there is), such a correlation would not necessarily demonstrate the correctness of apologism.

There are, however, many flaws in this set of arguments claiming that the present human life is long enough. Fears of futile repetition may be justified if we imagine that a prolonged life must necessarily be spent in mindless drudgery or be severely limited by lack of health, education, resources, and opportunities. But there is no reason to assume that a prolonged life must be marred by such constraints. In evaluating the benefits and liabilities of a prolonged life, one errs in taking as one’s standard the lives of the poorest, most diseased, or most miserable and deprived human beings.

Nonetheless, for the three reasons I have just given my discussion in this book focuses on the applications of apologism and prolongevitism to the last stages of human life. 14 It might be objected that age sixty-five is too early to be used as a marker of the last stages of life. In light of the current increasing life expectancies of women and men in North America, the average sixty-five-yearold can look forward to more than a decade of additional life, and many will live even longer, often in good health and without serious disabilities.

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