Value in Very Long Lives

in Journal of Moral Philosophy
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As things currently stand, our deaths are unavoidable and our lifespans short. It might be thought that these qualities leave room for improvement. According to a prominent line of argument in philosophy, however, this thought is mistaken. Against the idea that a longer life would be better, it is claimed that negative psychological states, such as boredom, would be unavoidable if our lives were significantly longer. Against the idea that a deathless life would be better, it is claimed that such a life would be lacking in important sources of value, because death is a precondition for many of our valuing attitudes. I argue that these problems are avoided by very long (and potentially infinite) lives that incorporate fading memory, limited ignorance of future events, and temporal scarcity. I conclude that very long lives are, in principle, desirable, and that death does not play an essential role in our valuing attitudes.

Value in Very Long Lives

in Journal of Moral Philosophy



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