Results for 'Death'

628 found
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  1. Putting a Number on the Harm of Death.Joseph Millum - 2019 - In Espen Gamlund & Carl Tollef Solberg (eds.), Saving People from the Harm of Death. Oxford University Press. pp. 61-75.
    Donors to global health programs and policymakers within national health systems have to make difficult decisions about how to allocate scarce health care resources. Principled ways to make these decisions all make some use of summary measures of health, which provide a common measure of the value (or disvalue) of morbidity and mortality. They thereby allow comparisons between health interventions with different effects on the patterns of death and ill health within a population. The construction of a summary measure (...)
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  2. Don't Fear the Reaper: An Epicurean Answer to Puzzles About Death and Injustice.Simon Cushing - 2007 - In Kate Woodthorpe (ed.), Layers of Dying and Death. Oxford, UK: Inter-Disciplinary Press. pp. 117-127.
    I begin by sketching the Epicurean position on death - that it cannot be bad for the one who dies because she no longer exists - which has struck many people as specious. However, alternative views must specify who is wronged by death (the dead person?), what is the harm (suffering?), and when does the harm take place (before death, when you’re not dead yet, or after death, when you’re not around any more?). In the second (...)
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  3. Philosophical Foundations of the Death and Anti-Death Discussion.Jeremy Horne - 2017 - Death And Anti-Death Set of Anthologies 15:72.
    Perhaps there has been no greater opportunity than in this “VOLUME FIFTEEN of our Death And Anti-Death set of anthologies” to write about how might think about life and how to avoid death. There are two reasons to discuss “life”, the first being enhancing our understanding of who we are and why we may be here in the Universe. The second is more practical: how humans meet the physical challenges brought about by the way they have interacted (...)
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  4. Life After Death and the Devastation of the Grave.Eric T. Olson - 2015 - In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 409-423.
    This paper—written for nonspecialist readers—asks whether life after death is in any sense possible given the apparent fact that after we die our remains decay to the point where only randomly scattered atoms remain. The paper argues that this is possible only if our remains are not in fact dispersed in this way, and discusses how that might be the case. -/- 1. Life After Death -- 2. Total Destruction -- 3. The Soul -- 4. Body-Snatching -- 5. (...)
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  5. The “Death” of Monads: G. W. Leibniz on Death and Anti-Death.Roinila Markku - 2016 - In Charles Tandy (ed.), Death and Anti Death, vol. 14: Four Decades after Michael Polanyi, Three Centuries after G. W. Leibniz. Ann Arbor: RIA University Press. pp. 243-266.
    According to Leibniz, there is no death in the sense that the human being or animal is destroyed completely. This is due to his metaphysical pluralism which would suffer if the number of substances decreased. While animals transform into other animals after “death”, human beings are rewarded or punished of their behavior in this life. This paper presents a comprehensive account of how Leibniz thought the “death” to take place and discusses his often unclear views on the (...)
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  6. The Idealist View of Consciousness After Death.Bernardo Kastrup - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research 7 (11):900-909.
    To make educated guesses about what happens to consciousness upon bodily death, one has to have some understanding of the relationship between body and consciousness during life. This relationship, of course, reflects an ontology. In this brief essay, the tenability of both the physicalist and dualist ontologies will be assessed in view of recent experimental results in physics. The alternative ontology of idealism will then be discussed, which not only can be reconciled with the available empirical evidence, but also (...)
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  7. Happy Death of Gilles Deleuze.Finn Janning - 2013 - Tamara - Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry 11 (1):29-37.
    In this essay, I will look closer at the death of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, who committed suicide in 1995. I will scrutinize his death in concordance with his philosophical thoughts, but frame my gaze within Albert Camus’ well-known opening- question from The Myth of Sisyphus: “Judging whether life is worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy” (Camus, 2005:1).
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  8. VIII—Epicurus on Pleasure, a Complete Life, and Death: A Defence.Alex Voorhoeve - 2018 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 118 (3):225-253.
    Epicurus argued that the good life is the pleasurable life. He also argued that ‘death is nothing to us’. These claims appear in tension. For if pleasure is good, then it seems that death is bad when it deprives us of deeply enjoyable time alive. Here, I offer an Epicurean view of pleasure and the complete life which dissolves this tension. This view is, I contend, more appealing than critics of Epicureanism have allowed, in part because it assigns (...)
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  9.  45
    Unconscious Rationalization, Or: How (Not) to Think About Awfulness and Death.Jake Quilty-Dunn - manuscript
    Many contemporary epistemologists take rational inference to be a conscious action performed by the thinker (Boghossian 2014; 2018; Valaris 2014; Malmgren 2018). It is tempting to think that rational evaluability requires responsibility, which in turn requires conscious action. In that case, unconscious cognition involves merely associative or otherwise arational processing. This paper argues instead for deep rationalism: unconscious inference often exhibits the same rational status and richly structured logical character as conscious inference. The central case study is rationalization, in which (...)
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  10. Death and Eternal Recurrence.Lars Bergström - 2013 - In Feldman Bradley (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death. Oxford U P.
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  11. Taking Stock of the Risks of Life Without Death.August Gorman - forthcoming - In Travis Timmerman & Michael Cholbi (eds.), Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives. 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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  12. Surviving Death.Mark Johnston - 2010 - Princeton University Press.
    In this extraordinary book, Mark Johnston sets out a new understanding of personal identity and the self, thereby providing a purely naturalistic account of surviving death. Death threatens our sense of the importance of goodness. The threat can be met if there is, as Socrates said, "something in death that is better for the good than for the bad." Yet, as Johnston shows, all existing theological conceptions of the afterlife are either incoherent or at odds with the (...)
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  13.  36
    How to Tell If Animals Can Understand Death.Susana Monsó - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    It is generally assumed that humans are the only animals who can possess a concept of death. However, the ubiquity of death in nature and the evolutionary advantages that would come with an understanding of death provide two prima facie reasons for doubting this assumption. In this paper, my intention is not to defend that animals of this or that nonhuman species possess a concept of death, but rather to examine how we could go about empirically (...)
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  14. Black Lives Matter and the Call for Death Penalty Abolition.Michael Cholbi & Alex Madva - 2018 - Ethics 128 (3):517-544.
    The Black Lives Matter movement has called for the abolition of capital punishment in response to what it calls “the war against Black people” and “Black communities.” This article defends the two central contentions in the movement’s abolitionist stance: first, that US capital punishment practices represent a wrong to black communities rather than simply a wrong to particular black capital defendants or particular black victims of murder, and second, that the most defensible remedy for this wrong is the abolition of (...)
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  15.  27
    Seks, surm ja perverssus [Sex, Death and Perversion].Francesco Orsi - 2019 - Akadeemia 7:1301−1312.
    The concept of perversion has traditionally been applied particularly to the sexual sphere, in order to condemn certain desires and certain practices as wrong or inappropriate because of their unnaturalness, as they are understood as a deviation from a given function of sexuality. In this article, I explore the question whether and how such a concept could be applied to another central dimension of our existence, namely our death and, in particular, whether it makes sense to talk of perverted (...)
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  16.  77
    Brain Death as the End of a Human Organism as a Self-Moving Whole.Adam Omelianchuk - forthcoming - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.
    The biophilosophic justification for the idea that “brain death” (or total brain failure) is death needs to support two claims: (1) that what dies in human death is a human organism, not merely a psychological entity distinct from it; (2) that total brain failure signifies the end of the human organism as a whole. Defenders of brain death typically assume without argument the first claim is true and argue for the second by defending the “integrative unity” (...)
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  17. The Death Penalty Debate: Four Problems and New Philosophical Perspectives.Masaki Ichinose - June 2017 - Journal of Practical Ethics 5 (1):53-80.
    This paper aims at bringing a new philosophical perspective to the current debate on the death penalty through a discussion of peculiar kinds of uncertainties that surround the death penalty. I focus on laying out the philosophical argument, with the aim of stimulating and restructuring the death penalty debate. I will begin by describing views about punishment that argue in favour of either retaining the death penalty (‘retentionism’) or abolishing it (‘abolitionism’). I will then argue that (...)
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  18. The Structure of Death Penalty Arguments.Matt Stichter - 2014 - Res Publica 20 (2):129-143.
    In death penalty debates, advocates on both sides have advanced a staggering number of arguments to defend their positions. Many of those arguments fail to support retaining or abolishing the death penalty, and often this is due to advocates pursuing a line of reasoning where the conclusion, even if correctly established, will not ultimately prove decisive. Many of these issues are also interconnected and shouldn’t be treated separately. The goal of this paper is to provide some clarity about (...)
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  19. Kant's Justification of the Death Penalty Reconsidered.Benjamin S. Yost - 2010 - Kantian Review 15 (2):1-27.
    This paper argues that Immanuel Kant’s practical philosophy contains a coherent, albeit implicit, defense of the legitimacy of capital punishment, one that refutes the most important objections leveled against it. I first show that Kant is consistent in his application of the ius talionis. I then explain how Kant can respond to the claim that death penalty violates the inviolable right to life. To address the most significant objection – the claim that execution violates human dignity – I argue (...)
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  20. The Metaphysics of Mortals: Death, Immortality, and Personal Time.Cody Gilmore - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3271-3299.
    Personal time, as opposed to external time, has a certain role to play in the correct account of death and immortality. But saying exactly what that role is, and what role remains for external time, is not straightforward. I formulate and defend accounts of death and immortality that specify these roles precisely.
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  21. Natality and Mortality: Rethinking Death with Cavarero.Alison Stone - 2010 - Continental Philosophy Review 43 (3):353-372.
    In this article I rethink death and mortality on the basis of birth and natality, drawing on the work of the Italian feminist philosopher Adriana Cavarero. She understands birth to be the corporeal event whereby a unique person emerges from the mother’s body into the common world. On this basis Cavarero reconceives death as consisting in bodily dissolution and re-integration into cosmic life. This impersonal conception of death coheres badly with her view that birth is never exclusively (...)
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  22. Facing Death From a Safe Distance: Saṃvega and Moral Psychology.Lajos L. Brons - 2016 - Journal of Buddhist Ethics 23:83-128.
    Saṃvega is a morally motivating state of shock that -- according to Buddhaghosa -- should be evoked by meditating on death. What kind of mental state it is exactly, and how it is morally motivating is unclear, however. This article presents a theory of saṃvega -- what it is and how it works -- based on recent insights in psychology. According to dual process theories there are two kinds of mental processes organized in two" systems" : the experiential, automatic (...)
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  23. Care, Death, and Time in Heidegger and Frankfurt.B. Scot Rousse - 2016 - In Roman Altshuler & Michael Sigrist (eds.), Time and the Philosophy of Action. New York: Routledge. pp. 225-241.
    Both Martin Heidegger and Harry Frankfurt have argued that the fundamental feature of human identity is care. Both contend that caring is bound up with the fact that we are finite beings related to our own impending death, and both argue that caring has a distinctive, circular and non-instantaneous, temporal structure. In this paper, I explore the way Heidegger and Frankfurt each understand the relations among care, death, and time, and I argue for the superiority of Heideggerian version (...)
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  24. The Future of Death: Cryonics and the Telos of Liberal Individualism.James Hughes - 2001 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 6 (1).
    This paper addresses five questions: First, what is trajectory of Western liberal ethics and politics in defining life, rights and citizenship? Second, how will neuro-remediation and other technologies change the definition of death for the brain injured and the cryonically suspended? Third, will people always have to be dead to be cryonically suspended? Fourth, how will changing technologies and definitions of identity affect the status of people revived from brain injury and cryonic suspension? I propose that Western liberal thought (...)
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  25. Age and Death: A Defence of Gradualism.Joseph Millum - 2015 - Utilitas 27 (3):279-297.
    According to standard comparativist views, death is bad insofar as it deprives someone of goods she would otherwise have had. In The Ethics of Killing, Jeff McMahan argues against such views and in favor of a gradualist account according to which how bad it is to die is a function of both the future goods of which the decedent is deprived and her cognitive development when she dies. Comparativists and gradualists therefore disagree about how bad it is to die (...)
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  26. Teleology, Narrative, and Death.Roman Altshuler - 2015 - In John Lippitt & Patrick Stokes (eds.), Narrative, Identity and the Kierkegaardian Self. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 29-45.
    Heidegger, like Kierkegaard, has recently been claimed as a narrativist about selves. From this Heideggerian perspective, we can see how narrative expands upon the psychological view, adding a vital teleological dimension to the understanding of selfhood while denying the reductionism implicit in the psychological approach. Yet the narrative approach also inherits the neo-Lockean emphasis on the past as determining identity, whereas the self is fundamentally about the future. Death is crucial on this picture, not as allowing for the possibility (...)
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  27.  83
    A Defense of Brain Death.Nada Gligorov - 2016 - Neuroethics 9 (2):119-127.
    In 1959 two French neurologists, Pierre Mollaret and Maurice Goullon, coined the term coma dépassé to designate a state beyond coma. In this state, patients are not only permanently unconscious; they lack the endogenous drive to breathe, as well as brainstem reflexes, indicating that most of their brain has ceased to function. Although legally recognized in many countries as a criterion for death, brain death has not been universally accepted by bioethicists, by the medical community, or by the (...)
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  28.  38
    Death: The Loss of Life-Constitutive Integration.Doyen Nguyen - 2019 - Diametros 60:72-78.
    This discussion note aims to address the two points which Lizza raises regarding my critique of his paper “Defining Death: Beyond Biology,” namely that I mistakenly attribute a Lockean view to his ‘higher brain death’ position and that, with respect to the ‘brain death’ controversy, both the notions of the organism as a whole and somatic integration are unclear and vague. First, it is known from the writings of constitutionalist scholars that the constitution view of human persons, (...)
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  29. Reconsidering Brain Death: A Lesson From Japan's Fifteen Years of Experience.Masahiro Morioka - 2001 - Hastings Center Report 31 (4):41-46.
    The Japanese Transplantation Law is unique among others in that it allows us to choose between "brain death" and "traditional death" as our death. In every country 20 to 40 % of the popularion doubts the idea of brain death. This paper reconsiders the concept, and reports the ongoing rivision process of the current law. Published in Hastings Center Report, 2001.
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  30.  38
    Meaning of Life in Death situation from Wittgenstein Point of View using Grounded Theory.Hoshyar Naderpoor, Reza Akbari & Meysam Latifi - 2017 - Falsafeh: The Iranian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):95-111.
    This study focuses on the experimental and philosophical analysis of the meaning of life in death situation, according to Wittgenstein’s way of life and sayings during the war. The method of extraction and analysis of information is grounded theory. For this purpose, Wittgenstein’s writings such as his letters and memories, and other’s texts about his life and his internal moods were analyzed. After analyzing the collected information and categorizing them in frames of open codes, axial codes, etc. we recognized (...)
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  31. Contractualism and the Death Penalty.Li Hon Lam - 2017 - Criminal Justice Ethics 36 (2):152-182.
    It is a truism that there are erroneous convictions in criminal trials. Recent legal findings show that 3.3% to 5%of all convictions in capital rape-murder cases in the U.S. in the 1980s were erroneous convictions. Given this fact, what normative conclusions can be drawn? First, the article argues that a moderately revised version of Scanlon’ s contractualism offers an attractive moral vision that is different from utilitarianism or other consequentialist theories, or from purely deontological theories. It then brings this version (...)
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  32. Sentient Nonpersons and the Disvalue of Death.David DeGrazia - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (7):511-519.
    Implicit in our everyday attitudes and practices is the assumption that death ordinarily harms a person who dies. A far more contested matter is whether death harms sentient individuals who are not persons, a category that includes many animals and some human beings. On the basis of the deprivation account of the harm of death, I argue that death harms sentient nonpersons. I next consider possible bases for the commonsense judgment that death ordinarily harms persons (...)
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  33. The Incoherence of Denying My Death.Lajos L. Brons - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 4 (2):68-98.
    The most common way of dealing with the fear of death is denying death. Such denial can take two and only two forms: strategy 1 denies the finality of death; strategy 2 denies the reality of the dying subject. Most religions opt for strategy 1, but Buddhism seems to be an example of the 2nd. All variants of strategy 1 fail, however, and a closer look at the main Buddhist argument reveals that Buddhism in fact does not (...)
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  34. Secular Hopes in the Face of Death.Luc Bovens - 2018 - In Rochelle Green (ed.), Theories of Hope: Exploring Alternative Affective Dimensions of Human Experience. Lexington Press.
    Many religions offer hope for a life that transcends death and believers find great comfort in this. Non-believers typically do not have such hopes. In the face of death, they may find consolation in feeling contented with the life they have lived. But do they have hopes? I will identify a range of distinctly secular hopes at the end of life. Nothing stops religious people from sharing these secular hopes, in addition to their hope for eternal life. I (...)
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  35. Mortal Harm and the Antemortem Experience of Death.Stephan Blatti - 2014 - Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (9):640-42.
    In his recent book, Death, Posthumous Harm, and Bioethics (Routeledge 2012), James Stacey Taylor challenges two ideas whose provenance may be traced all the way back to Aristotle. The first of these is the thought that death (typically) harms the one who dies (mortal harm thesis). The second is the idea that one can be harmed (and wronged) by events that occur after one’s death (posthumous harm thesis). Taylor devotes two-thirds of the book to arguing against both (...)
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  36. Surviving Death: How to Refute Termination Theses.Robert Francescotti - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (2):178-197.
    When deciding how ‘death’ should be defined, it is helpful to consider cases in which vital functions are restored to an organism long after those vital functions have ceased. Here I consider whether such restoration cases can be used to refute termination theses. Focusing largely on the termination thesis applied to human animals, I develop a line of argument from the possibility of human restoration to the conclusion that in many actual cases, human animals continue to exist after they (...)
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  37. When Do Persons Die?: Indeterminacy, Death, and Referential Eligibility.Ben Curtis - 2018 - Journal of Value Inquiry 52 (2):153-167.
    The topic of this paper is the general thesis that the death of the human organism is what constitutes the death of a person. All admit that when the death of a human organism occurs, in some form or another, this normally does result in the death of a person. But, some maintain, organismic death is not the same thing as personal death. Why? Because, they maintain, despite the fact that persons are associated with (...)
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  38. Brueckner and Fischer on the Evil of Death.Huiyuhl Yi - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (2):295-303.
    A primary argument against the badness of death (known as the Symmetry Argument) appeals to an alleged symmetry between prenatal and posthumous nonexistence. The Symmetry Argument has posed a serious threat to those who hold that death is bad because it deprives us of life’s goods that would have been available had we died later. Anthony Brueckner and John Martin Fischer develop an influential strategy to cope with the Symmetry Argument. In their attempt to break the symmetry, they (...)
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  39. Gender Discrimination in the U.S. Death Penalty System.Phillip Barron - 2000 - Radical Philosophy Review 3 (1):89-96.
    Although the demographics on male versus female death-row prisoners suggest that males are the criminal justice system’s primary targets, the author argues that the system still discriminates against women. Utilizing postmodern scholarship, he argues that female prisoners are punished primarily for violating dominant norms of gender correctness.
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  40. 'Death is Nothing to Us:' A Critical Analysis of the Epicurean Views Concerning the Dread of Death.Evangelos D. Protopapadakis - 2014 - Antiquity and Modern World: Interpretations of Antiquity 8:316-323.
    To the mind of humans death is an impossible riddle, the ultimate of mysteries; therefore it has always been considered a task of paramount importance for philosophers to provide a satisfactory account for death. Among the numerous efforts to deal with the riddle of death, Epicurus’ one stands out not only for its unsurpassed simplicity and lucidness, but also for the innovative manner in which it approaches the issue: Epicurus denounces the fear of death as a (...)
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  41. On Whether B-Theoretic Atheists Should Fear Death.Natalja Deng - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (4):1011-1021.
    In this paper I revisit a dispute between Mikel Burley and Robin Le Poidevin about whether or not the B-theory of time can give its adherents any reason to be less afraid of death. In ‘Should a B-theoretic atheist fear death?’, Burley argues that even on Le Poidevin’s understanding of the B-theory, atheists shouldn’t be comforted. His reason is that the prevalent B-theoretic account of our attitudes towards the past and future precludes treating our fear of death (...)
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  42. Deprivation and the See-Saw of Death.Christopher Wareham - 2009 - South African Journal of Philosophy 28 (2):246-56.
    Epicurus argued that death can be neither good nor bad because it involves neither pleasure nor pain. This paper focuses on the deprivation account as a response to this Hedonist Argument. Proponents of the deprivation account hold that Epicurus’s argument fails even if death involves no painful or pleasurable experiences and even if the hedonist ethical system, which holds that pleasure and pain are all that matter ethically, is accepted. I discuss four objections that have been raised against (...)
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  43. The Preoccupation with Death.Rodrigo Laera - 2013 - Problemata: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 4 (1):110-133.
    Against the epicurean position, the rationality about the preoccupation with death is discussed by the present paper. For this purpose two elemental thesis are proposed. The first one supports that it is rational to worry about death before dying because we conceive the idea of a discourse in which the impossibility of interfere in the world to satisfy our pending goals is lamented. The second thesis is that death afflicts any prejudice only to whom wonders about it, (...)
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  44. Thinking Death Into Every Moment: The Existence-Problem of Dying in Kierkegaard’s Postscript.Paul Muench - 2011 - In Patrick Stokes & Adam Buben (eds.), Kierkegaard and Death. Indiana University Press.
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  45. Zsuzsanna Mariann LENGYEL: New Ways for Understanding: Death and History – István KIRÁLY V.: Death and History. (Saarbrücken, Lambert Academic Publishing, 2015) 180 P.István Király V. - 2016 - Philobiblon - Transilvanian Journal of Multidisciplinary Research in Humanities 21 (1):123 - 131.
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  46. The Death Debates: A Call for Public Deliberation.David Rodríguez-Arias & Carissa Véliz - 2013 - Hastings Center Report 43 (5):34-35.
    In this issue of the Report, James L. Bernat proposes an innovative and sophisticated distinction to justify the introduction of permanent cessation as a valid substitute standard for irreversible cessation in death determination. He differentiates two approaches to conceptualizing and determining death: the biological concept and the prevailing medical practice standard. While irreversibility is required by the biological concept, the weaker criterion of permanence, he claims, has always sufficed in the accepted standard medical practice to declare death. (...)
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  47.  71
    Pluralismo en torno al significado de la muerte cerebral y/o revisión de la regla del donante fallecido Pluralism about the meaning of brain death and/or the revision of the dead donor rule.David Vailhen & Alberto Pérez - 2007 - Laguna 21.
    Since 1968, the loss of functioning of the whole brain (brain death) is assimilated to death. The almost universal acceptance of this neurological criterion of death had decisive consequences for the contemporary medicine, such as the withdrawal of mechanical ventilation in these patients and organ retrieval for transplantation. The new criterion was succesfully accepted in part because the assimilation of brain death state to death was presented by medicine –and acritically assumed by most of societies- (...)
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  48. Surviving Death – Mark Johnston.Steven Luper - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (245):884-887.
    This is a review of Johnston's book Surviving Death.
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  49. Love and Death in the First Epistle of John: A Phenomenological Reflection.Richard Oxenberg - manuscript
    “Whoever does not love abides in death,” writes John in his first epistle (1Jn 3:10). This statement presents us with a paradox. Death, so we suppose, is precisely that in which one cannot 'abide.' Our first thought is to interpret this as metaphor. John is saying that a life devoid of love is a life somehow like death. But, having never died, how do we know what death is like? My paper explores these questions with the (...)
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  50. On Death: Thoughts of an Optimistic Atheist.Massimo Pigliucci - 2002 - In P. Schoenewaldt:, S. R. Harris & M. Kallet (eds.), Faith & Reason Look at Death. University of Tennessee Libraries.
    When I was fifteen, I was having serious doubts about the existence of a supernatural entity benevolently looking over me, and—perhaps even more disturbingly—about the possibility of an afterlife in which I would again see my friends and relatives and exist happily ever after. It was at that point that I started reading the writings of Bertrand Russell,1,2 one of the most controversial philosophers and political activists of the Twentieth century.
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