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  1. Our stories: essays on life, death, and free will.John Martin Fischer - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Introduction: "meaning in life and death : our stories" -- John Martin Fischer and Anthony B rueckner, "Why is death bad?", Philosophical studies, vol. 50, no. 2 (September 1986) -- "Death, badness, and the impossibility of experience," Journal of ethics -- John Martin Fischer and Daniel Speak, "Death and the psychological conception of personal identity," Midwest studies in philosophy, vol. 24 -- "Earlier birth and later death : symmetry through thick and thin," Richard Feldman, Kris McDaniel, Jason R. Raibley, eds., (...)
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  • Infinity goes up on trial: Must immortality be meaningless?Timothy Chappell - 2007 - European Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):30-44.
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  • Infinity Goes Up On Trial: Must Immortality Be Meaningless?Timothy Chappell - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):30-44.
    Critically debates the distinction of different types of boredom and its impact on Williams’s argument, as well as the question of why personal identity should be threatened by eternally having new ground projects.
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  • The Worst Time to Die.Ben Bradley - 2008 - Ethics 118 (2):291-314.
    At what stage of life is death worst for its victim? I hold that, typically, death is worse the earlier it occurs. Others, including Jeff McMahan and Christopher Belshaw, have argued that it is worst to die in early adulthood. In this paper I show that McMahan and Belshaw are wrong; I show that views that entail that Student’s death is worse face fatal objections. I focus in particular on McMahan’s time-relative interest account (TRIA) of the badness of death. Manuscript (...)
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  • Immortality without boredom.Lisa Bortolotti & Yujin Nagasawa - 2009 - Ratio 22 (3):261-277.
    In this paper we address Bernard Williams' argument for the undesirability of immortality. Williams argues that unavoidable and pervasive boredom would characterise the immortal life of an individual with unchanging categorical desires. We resist this conclusion on the basis of the distinction between habitual and situational boredom and a psychologically realistic account of significant factors in the formation of boredom. We conclude that Williams has offered no persuasive argument for the necessity of boredom in the immortal life. 1.
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  • Living life over again.David Blumenfeld - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):357-386.
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  • Living Life Over Again.David Blumenfeld - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):357-386.
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  • Immortality, Memory and Imagination.Christopher Belshaw - 2015 - The Journal of Ethics 19 (3-4):323-348.
    Immortality—living forever and avoiding death—seems to many to be desirable. But is it? It has been argued that an immortal life would fairly soon become boring, trivial, and meaningless, and is not at all the sort of thing that any of us should want. Yet boredom and triviality presuppose our having powerful memories and imaginations, and an inability either to shake off the past or to free ourselves of weighty visions of the future. Suppose, though, that our capacities here are (...)
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  • Should I choose to never die? Williams, boredom, and the significance of mortality.David Beglin - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (8):2009-2028.
    Bernard Williams’ discussion of immortality in “The Makropulos Case: Reflections on the Tedium of Immortality” has spawned an entire philosophical literature. This literature tends to focus on one of Williams’ central claims: if we were to relinquish our mortality, we would necessarily become alienated from our existence and environment—“bored,” in his terms. Many theorists have defended this claim; many others have challenged it. Even if this claim is false, though, it still isn’t obvious that we should choose to relinquish our (...)
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  • Well-being and death.Ben Bradley - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Well-Being and Death addresses philosophical questions about death and the good life: what makes a life go well? Is death bad for the one who dies? How is this possible if we go out of existence when we die? Is it worse to die as an infant or as a young adult? Is it bad for animals and fetuses to die? Can the dead be harmed? Is there any way to make death less bad for us? Ben Bradley defends the (...)
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  • Free Will, Death, and Immortality: The Role of Narrative.John Martin Fischer - 2005 - Philosophical Papers 34 (3):379-403.
    In this paper I explore in a preliminary way the interconnections among narrative explanation, narrative value, free will, an immortality. I build on the fascinating an suggestive work of David Velleman. I offer the hypothesis that our acting freely is what gives our lives a distinctive kind of value - narrative value. Free Will, then, is connected to the capacity to lead a meaningful life in a quite specific way: it is the ingredient which, when aded to others, enows us (...)
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  • Immortality, Boredom, and Standing for Something.David Beglin - 2021 - In Michael Cholbi & Travis Timmerman (eds.), Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives. New York, NY: Routledge.
    Addresses a common criticism of Williams' so-called "Necessary Boredom Thesis," arguing that the criticism misconstrues the kind of boredom that Williams is worried about. Then offers an independent reason to worry about the Necessary Boredom Thesis, given the relevant construal of boredom. Finally, develops a weaker version of Williams' worries about choosing to live an immortal existence, arguing that immortality threatens to undermine our ability to stand for the things in our lives.
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  • Taking Stock of the Risks of Life Without Death.August Gorman - 2021 - In Michael Cholbi & Travis Timmerman (eds.), Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives. New York, NY: Routledge.
    In this chapter I argue that choosing to live forever comes with the threat of an especially pernicious kind of boredom. However, it may be theoretically possible to circumvent it by finding ways to pursue an infinite number of projects consistent with one’s personality, taking on endlessly pursuable endlessly interesting projects, or by rekindling old projects once you’ve forgotten about them. However, each of these possibilities is contingent upon having certain traits that you are likely not currently in a good (...)
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  • The Human Predicament: A Candid Guide to Life's Biggest Questions.David Benatar - 2017 - New York: Oup Usa.
    Are our lives meaningless? Is death bad? Would immortality be better? Alternatively, should we hasten our deaths by acts of suicide? Many people are tempted to offer comforting optimistic answers to these big questions. The Human Predicament offers a less sanguine assessment, and defends a substantial, but not unmitigated, pessimism.
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  • Is the immortal life worth living?J. Jeremy Wisnewski - 2005 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 58 (1):27 - 36.
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  • Wings of Desire.Aaron Smuts - 2009 - Film and Philosophy 13:137-150.
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  • Immortality and Significance.Aaron Smuts - 2011 - Philosophy and Literature 35 (1):134-149.
    Although I reject his argument, I defend Bernard Williams’s claim that we would lose reason to go on if we were to live forever. Through a consideration of Borges’s story "The Immortal," I argue that immortality would be motivationally devastating, since our decisions would carry little weight, our achievements would be hollow victories of mere diligence, and the prospect of eternal frustration would haunt our every effort. An immortal life for those of limited ability will inevitably result in endless frustration, (...)
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  • Empathic access: The missing ingredient in personal identity.Marya Schechtman - 2001 - Philosophical Explorations 4 (2):95 – 111.
    Philosophical discussions of personal identity depend upon thought experiments which describe psychological vicissitudes and question whether the original person survives in the person resulting from the described change. These cases are meant to determine the types of psychological change compatible with personal continuation. Two main accounts of identity try to capture this distinction; psychological continuity theories and narrative theories. I argue that neither fully succeeds since both overlook the importance of a relationship I call “empathic access.” I define empathic access (...)
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  • Regarding Immortality.Roy W. Perrett - 1986 - Religious Studies 22 (2):219 - 233.
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  • Regarding Immortality: ROY W. PERRETT.Roy W. Perrett - 1986 - Religious Studies 22 (2):219-233.
    Would personal immortality have any value for one so endowed? An affirmative answer would seem so obvious to some that they might be tempted to go so far as to claim that immortality is a condition of life's having any value at all. The claim that immortality is a necessary condition for the meaningfulness of life seems untenable. What, however, of the claim that immortality is a sufficient condition for the meaningfulness of life? Though some might hold this to be (...)
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  • The Therapy of Desire.Martha C. Nussbaum - 1999 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 59 (3):785-786.
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  • Downshifting and Meaning in Life.Neil Levy - 2005 - Ratio 18 (2):176-189.
    So‐called downshifters seek more meaningful lives by decreasing the amount of time they devote to work, leaving more time for the valuable goods of friendship, family and personal development. But though these are indeed meaning‐conferring activities, they do not have the right structure to count as superlatively meaningful. Only in work – of a certain kind – can superlative meaning be found. It is by active engagements in projects, which are activities of the right structure, dedicated to the achievement of (...)
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  • Downshifting and meaning in life.Neil Levy - 2005 - Ratio 18 (2):176–189.
    So-called downshifters seek more meaningful lives by decreasing the amount of time they devote to work, leaving more time for the valuable goods of friendship, family and personal development. But though these are indeed meaning-conferring activities, they do not have the right structure to count as superlatively meaningful. Only in work – of a certain kind – can superlative meaning be found. It is by active engagements in projects, which are activities of the right structure, dedicated to the achievement of (...)
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  • Against Time Bias.Preston Greene & Meghan Sullivan - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):947-970.
    Most of us display a bias toward the near: we prefer pleasurable experiences to be in our near future and painful experiences to be in our distant future. We also display a bias toward the future: we prefer pleasurable experiences to be in our future and painful experiences to be in our past. While philosophers have tended to think that near bias is a rational defect, almost no one finds future bias objectionable. In this essay, we argue that this hybrid (...)
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  • Williams and the Desirability of Body‐Bound Immortality Revisited.A. G. Gorman - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy:1062-1083.
    Bernard Williams argues that human mortality is a good thing because living forever would necessarily be intolerably boring. His argument is often attacked for unfoundedly proposing asymmetrical requirements on the desirability of living for mortal and immortal lives. My first aim in this paper is to advance a new interpretation of Williams' argument that avoids these objections, drawing in part on some of his other writings to contextualize it. My second aim is to show how even the best version of (...)
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  • Why immortality is not so bad.John Martin Fischer - 1994 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 2 (2):257 – 270.
    (1994). Why immortality is not so bad. International Journal of Philosophical Studies: Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 257-270.
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  • Immortality and Boredom.John Martin Fischer & Benjamin Mitchell-Yellin - 2014 - The Journal of Ethics 18 (4):353-372.
    In this paper, we aim to clarify and evaluate the contention that immortality would be necessarily boring . It will emerge that, just as there are various importantly different kinds of immortality, there are various distinct kinds of boredom. To evaluate the Necessary Boredom Thesis, we need to specify the kind of immortality and the kind of boredom. We argue against the thesis, on various specifications of “immortality” and “boredom.”.
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  • Epicureanism About Death and Immortality.John Martin Fischer - 2006 - The Journal of Ethics 10 (4):355-381.
    In this paper I discuss some of Martha Nussbaum's defenses of Epicurean views about death and immortality. Here I seek to defend the commonsense view that death can be a bad thing for an individual against the Epicurean; I also defend the claim that immortality might conceivably be a good thing. In the development of my analysis, I make certain connections between the literatures on free will and death. The intersection of these two literatures can be illuminated by reference to (...)
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  • Epicureanism About Death and Immortality.John Martin Fischer - 2006 - The Journal of Ethics 10 (4):355-381.
    In this paper I discuss some of Martha Nussbaum’s defenses of Epicurean views about death and immortality. Here I seek to defend the commonsense view that death can be a bad thing for an individual against the Epicurean; I also defend the claim that immortality might conceivably be a good thing. In the development of my analysis, I make certain connections between the literatures on free will and death. The intersection of these two literatures can be illuminated by reference to (...)
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  • Immortality and the Exhaustibility of Value.Michael Cholbi - 2015 - In Immortality and the Philosophy of Death. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 221-236.
    Much of the literature on the desirability of immortality (inspired by B. Williams) has considered whether the goods of mortal life would be exhausted in an immortal life (whether, i.e., immortality would necessarily end in tedium). However, there has been very little discussion of whether the bads of mortal life would also be exhausted in an immortal life, and more generally, how good immortal life would be on balance, particularly in comparison to a mortal life. Here I argue that there (...)
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  • Immortality, Identity, and Desirability.Roman Altshuler - 2015 - In Michael Cholbi (ed.), Immortality and the Philosophy of Death. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 191-203.
    Williams’s famous argument against immortality rests on the idea that immortality cannot be desirable, at least for human beings, and his contention has spawned a cottage industry of responses. As I will intend to show, the arguments over his view rest on both a difference of temperament and a difference in the sense of desire being used. The former concerns a difference in whether one takes a forward-looking or a backward-looking perspective on personal identity; the latter a distinction between our (...)
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