18. The badness of death, Part III; Immortality, Part I

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Death (PHIL 176)

The discussion of the badness of death continues by asking whether it is bad that we do not exist before our birth. The views of a number of contemporary philosophers, such as Tom Nagle, Fred Feldman, and Derek Parfit, are introduced. Then Professor Kagan turns to the subject of immortality. Would it be desirable to live forever, and if so, under what circumstances one might enjoy such a prolonged existence? The lecture concludes with Bernard Williams' take on immortality which posits that no kind of human life can continue to be enjoyable and attractive for eternity.

00:00 - Chapter 1. The Modest Existence Clause
08:46 - Chapter 2. "Schmoss" of Life: Is it Bad?
22:01 - Chapter 3. Feldman and Parfit on Nonexistence before Life
33:45 - Chapter 4. Is Immortality the Antidote to Deprivation-Based Death?
49:26 - Chapter 5. Conclusion: A "Best" Immortal State?

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2007.