Cambridge Companions to Philosophy: The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death
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Cambridge Companions to Philosophy: The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death

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This volume meets the increasing interest in a range of philosophical issues connected with the nature and significance of life and death, and the ethics of killing. What is it to be alive and to die? What is it to be a person? What must time be like if we are to persist? What makes one life better than another? May death or posthumous events harm the dead? The chapters in this volume address these questions, and also discuss topical issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and suicide. They explore the interrelation between the metaphysics, significance, and ethics of life and death, and they discuss the moral significance of killing both people and animals, and the extent to which death harms them. The volume is for all those studying the philosophy of life and death, for readers taking applied ethics courses, and for those studying ethics and metaphysics more generally.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 21mm | 660g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1107022878
  • 9781107022874

Table of contents

Introduction Steven Luper; Part I. The Metaphysics of Life and Death: 1. The nature of life Mark A. Bedau; 2. The nature of people Eric T. Olson; 3. Persistence and time Katherine Hawley; 4. The malleability of identity Marya Schechtman; 5. The nature of human death David DeGrazia; Part II. The Significance of Life and Death: 6. Assessing lives Noah Lemos; 7. On the length of a good life Eyjolfur K. Emilsson; 8. Mortal harm John Martin Fischer; 9. When do we incur mortal harm? Jens Johansson; 10. The symmetry problem James Warren; 11. Posthumous harm Simon Keller; 12. Life's meaning Steven Luper; Part III. The Ethics of Life and Death: 13. Enhancing humanity Nicholas Agar; 14. Procreating David Archard; 15. Abortion Michael Tooley; 16. Killing ourselves Thomas Hill, Jr; 17. Killing in self-defense Kadri Vihvelin; 18. Imperfect aiding Matthew Hanser; 19. Killing and extinction Krister Bykvist.
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Review quote

'This collection highlights many interesting issues related, more or less fundamentally, to the issues of life and death, from contextual definitions of terms, to meaning, and to ethics. It will be quite understandable even to those without academic backgrounds in these ideas.' Metapsychology Online Reviews '... written with students in mind, and those looking for an up-to-date and accessible account of scholarship in a particular area. The 19 contributors here are all philosophers who write well and clearly about life and death from various perspectives ... if one of the functions of philosophy, whether secular or not, is to help us to think more clearly, then this is what this Companion achieves admirably.' Robin Gill, Church Times "This collection highlights many interesting issues related, more or less fundamentally, to the issues of life and death, from contextual definitions of terms, to meaning, and to ethics. It will be quite understandable even to those without academic backgrounds in these ideas."
Metapsychology Online Reviews "... written with students in mind, and those looking for an up-to-date and accessible account of scholarship in a particular area. The 19 contributors here are all philosophers who write well and clearly about life and death from various perspectives ... if one of the functions of philosophy, whether secular or not, is to help us to think more clearly, then this is what this Companion achieves admirably."
Robin Gill, Church Times
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About Steven Luper

Steven Luper is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Trinity University, Texas. He is author of several books, including A Guide to Ethics (2001) and The Philosophy of Death (Cambridge, 2009), and editor of, most recently, The Skeptics: Contemporary Essays (2003) and Essential Knowledge (2004).
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