Bootstrapping the Afterlife

in Journal of Moral Philosophy
No Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

Samuel Scheffler defends “The Afterlife Conjecture”: the view that the continued existence of humanity after our deaths— “the afterlife”—lies in the background of our valuing; were we to lose confidence in it, many of the projects we engage in would lose their meaning. The Afterlife Conjecture, in his view, also brings out the limits of our egoism, showing that we care more about yet unborn strangers than about personal survival. But why does the afterlife itself matter to us? Examination of Scheffler’s second argument helps answer this question, thereby undermining his argument. Our concern for the afterlife involves bootstrapping: we care more about the afterlife than about personal survival precisely because the latter has such salient limits that our lives are structured by adaptation to mortality, and it is only because the afterlife does provide a measure of personal survival that it can give meaning to our projects.

Bootstrapping the Afterlife

in Journal of Moral Philosophy

Sections

References

  • BlattnerWilliam D. 1994. “The Concept of Death in Being and Time.” Man and World4970. doi: 10.1007/BF01279040.

  • FerreroLuca. 2015. “Agency, Scarcity, and Mortality.” Journal of Ethics 19 (3): 34978. doi: 10.1007/s10892-015-9207-4.

  • FischerJohn Martin. 2009a. “Free Will, Death and Immortality: The Role of Narrative.” In Our Stories: Essays on Life Death and Free Will. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • FischerJohn Martin. 2009b. “Why Immortality Is Not So Bad.” In Our Stories: Essays on Life Death and Free Will7992. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • FlanaganOwen J. 1996. Self Expressions: Mind Morals and the Meaning of Life. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • FrankfurtHarry G. 2013. “How the Afterlife Matters.” In Death and the Afterlife by Samuel Scheffler edited by KolodnyNiko13142. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • PoidevinLe Robin. 1996. Arguing for Atheism: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion . New York: Routledge.

  • MalpasJeff. 1998. “Death and the Unity of a Life.” In Death and Philosophy edited by SolomonRobert C. and MalpasJeff12034. New York: Routledge.

  • NozickRobert. 1981. Philosophical Explanations. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • NussbaumMartha C. 1989. “Mortal Immortals: Lucretius on Death and the Voice of Nature.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50 (2): 30351. doi: 10.2307/2107963.

  • ParfitDerek. 1984. Reasons and Persons. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • RousseB. Scot. 2016. “Care, Death, and Time in Heidegger and Frankfurt.” In Time and the Philosophy of Action edited by Roman Altshuler and Michael J. Sigrist. New York: Routledge.

  • SartreJean-Paul. 2012. Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology. New York: Washington Square Press.

  • SchefflerSamuel. 2013. Death and the Afterlife. Edited by Niko Kolodny. The Berkeley Tanner Lectures. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • SigristMichael J. 2015. “Death and the Meaning of Life.” Philosophical Papers 44 (1): 83102. doi: 10.1080/05568641.2015.1014541.

  • SloteMichael. 1975. “Existentialism and the Fear of Dying.” American Philosophical Quarterly 12 (1): 1728. doi: 10.2307/20009555.

  • SmutsAaron. 2011. “Immortality and Significance.” Philosophy and Literature 35 (1): 13449. doi: 10.1353/phl.2011.0002.

  • StokesPatrick. 2015. “Deletion as Second Death: The Moral Status of Digital Remains.” Ethics and Information Technology 17 (4): 23748. doi: 10.1007/s10676-015-9379-4.

  • WilliamsBernard. 1973. “The Makropulos Case: Reflections on the Tedium of Immortality.” In Problems of the Self82100. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • WilliamsBernard. 1981. “Persons, Character, and Morality.” In Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers 1973–1980119. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • 9

    Ferrero (2015) argues that the necessary condition for (at least some of) our value-involving projects isn’t scarcity of time but scarcity of opportunities for action. Thus nothing about the nature of value or projects limits their pursuit to mortal lives.

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 70 70 15
Full Text Views 201 201 49
PDF Downloads 11 11 3
EPUB Downloads 4 4 2