Good to die

Diacritica 27:139-156 (2013)
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Abstract
Among those who reject the Epicurean claim that death is not bad for the one who dies, it is popularly held that death is bad for the one who dies, when it is bad for the one who dies, because it deprives the one who dies of the good things that otherwise would have fallen into her life. This view is known as the deprivation account of the value of death, and Fred Feldman is one of its most prominent defenders. In this paper, I explain why I believe that Feldman’s argument for the occasional badness of death fails. While staying within an Epicurean framework, I offer an alternative that adequately accounts for a significant range of widely held intuitions about prudential value. My account implies that death is almost always good for the one who dies, yet often less good than not dying. Finally, I discuss some puzzles that remain for my account and hint at possible ways to address them.
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Archival date: 2020-04-15
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