Bootstrapping the Afterlife

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Samuel Scheffler defends “The Afterlife Conjecture”: the view that the continued existence of humanity after our deaths—“the afterlife”—lies in the background of our valuing; were we to lose confidence in it, many of the projects we engage in would lose their meaning. The Afterlife Conjecture, in his view, also brings out the limits of our egoism, showing that we care more about yet unborn strangers than about personal survival. But why does the afterlife itself matter to us? Examination of Scheffler’s second argument helps answer this question, thereby undermining his argument. Our concern for the afterlife involves bootstrapping: we care more about the afterlife than about personal survival precisely because the latter has such salient limits that our lives are structured by adaptation to mortality, and it is only because the afterlife does provide a measure of personal survival that it can give meaning to our projects.
Reprint years
2017
PhilPapers/Archive ID
ALTBTA-3
Upload history
Archival date: 2016-06-22
View other versions
Added to PP index
2016-06-22

Total views
428 ( #11,445 of 54,561 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
76 ( #7,891 of 54,561 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.