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Immortality without boredom

Ratio 22 (3):261-277 (2009)

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  1. Does Death Give Meaning to Life?Brooke Alan Trisel - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 5 (2):62-81.
    Some people claim that death makes our lives meaningless. Bernard Williams and Viktor Frankl have made the opposite claim that death gives meaning to life. Although there has been much scrutiny of the former claim, the latter claim has received very little attention. In this paper, I will explore whether and how death gives meaning to our lives. As I will argue, there is not sufficient support for the strong claim that death is necessary for one's life to be meaningful. (...)
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  • Against the Tedium of Immortality.Donald W. Bruckner - 2012 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (5):623-644.
    Abstract In a well-known paper, Bernard Williams argues that an immortal life would not be worth living, for it would necessarily become boring. I examine the implications for the boredom thesis of three human traits that have received insufficient attention in the literature on Williams? paper. First, human memory decays, so humans would be entertained and driven by things that they experienced long before but had forgotten. Second, even if memory does not decay to the extent necessary to ward off (...)
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  • Williams and the Desirability of Body‐Bound Immortality Revisited.A. G. Gorman - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy:1062-1083.
    Bernard Williams argues that human mortality is a good thing because living forever would necessarily be intolerably boring. His argument is often attacked for unfoundedly proposing asymmetrical requirements on the desirability of living for mortal and immortal lives. My first aim in this paper is to advance a new interpretation of Williams' argument that avoids these objections, drawing in part on some of his other writings to contextualize it. My second aim is to show how even the best version of (...)
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  • What Is It Like To Be Immortal?Joseph Ulatowski - 2019 - Diametros 16 (62):65-77.
    The idea of an eternal and immortal life like the one we lead now seems quite appealing because (i) it will be sufficiently like our own earth-bound life and (ii) we will have the same kinds of desires we have now to want to live an eternal life. This paper will challenge the view that we have a conception of what the conscious experience of an immortal is like, regardless of whether we might want to live it. Given that for (...)
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  • Practical Identity and Meaninglessness.Kirsten Egerstrom - 2015 - Dissertation, Syracuse University
    While research on meaningfulnesss in life is becoming increasingly popular in analytic philosophy, there is still a dearth of literature on the topic of meaninglessness. This is surprising, given that a better understanding of the nature of meaninglessness may help to illuminate features of meaningfulness previously unobserved or misunderstood. Additionally, the topic of meaninglessness is interesting in its own right - independent of what it can tell us about meaningfulness. In my dissertation, I construct and defend my own conception of (...)
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  • When Death Comes Too Late: Radical Life Extension and the Makropulos Case.Michael Hauskeller - 2021 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 90:147-166.
    Famously, Bernard Williams has argued that although death is an evil if it occurs when we still have something to live for, we have no good reason to desire that our lives be radically extended because any such life would at some point reach a stage when we become indifferent to the world and ourselves. This is supposed to be so bad for us that it would be better if we died before that happens. Most critics have rejected Williams’ arguments (...)
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  • Desirability Without Desire: Life Extension, Boredom and Spiritual Experience.Drew Chastain - 2021 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 90:167-191.
    In response to Bernard Williams’ suspicion that we would inevitably become bored with immortal life, John Martin Fischer has argued that we could continue to enjoy repeatable pleasures such as fine wine, beautiful music, and spiritual experiences. In more recent work on near-death experiences, Fischer has also explored the non-religious meaning of spiritual experiences in more depth. I join this deeper exploration of spiritual experience, and I also join Williams’ critics who question his view that character and desire are needed (...)
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  • Immortality, Memory and Imagination.Christopher Belshaw - 2015 - The Journal of Ethics 19 (3-4):323-348.
    Immortality—living forever and avoiding death—seems to many to be desirable. But is it? It has been argued that an immortal life would fairly soon become boring, trivial, and meaningless, and is not at all the sort of thing that any of us should want. Yet boredom and triviality presuppose our having powerful memories and imaginations, and an inability either to shake off the past or to free ourselves of weighty visions of the future. Suppose, though, that our capacities here are (...)
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  • Value in Very Long Lives.Preston Greene - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (4):416-434.
    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 (...)
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  • Immortality, Identity, and Desirability.Roman Altshuler - 2015 - In Michael Cholbi (ed.), Immortality and the Philosophy of Death. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 191-203.
    Williams’s famous argument against immortality rests on the idea that immortality cannot be desirable, at least for human beings, and his contention has spawned a cottage industry of responses. As I will intend to show, the arguments over his view rest on both a difference of temperament and a difference in the sense of desire being used. The former concerns a difference in whether one takes a forward-looking or a backward-looking perspective on personal identity; the latter a distinction between our (...)
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  • Agency, Scarcity, and Mortality.Luca Ferrero - 2015 - The Journal of Ethics 19 (3-4):349-378.
    It is often argued, most recently by Samuel Scheffler, that we should reconcile with our mortality as constitutive of our existence: as essential to its temporal structure, to the nature of deliberation, and to our basic motivations and values. Against this reconciliatory strategy, I argue that there is a kind of immortal existence that is coherently conceivable and potentially desirable. First, I argue against the claim that our existence has a temporal structure with a trajectory that necessarily culminates in an (...)
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  • God and Eternal Boredom.Vuko Andrić & Attila Tanyi - 2017 - Religious Studies 53 (1):51-70.
    God is thought to be eternal. Does this mean that he is timeless? Or is he, rather, omnitemporal? In this paper we want to show that God cannot be omnitemporal. Our starting point, which we take from Bernard Williams’ article on the Makropulos Case, is the intuition that it is inappropriate for persons not to become bored after a sufficiently long sequence of time has passed. If God were omnitemporal, he would suffer from boredom. But God is the greatest possible (...)
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  • Life Extension and Mental Ageing.Christopher Wareham - 2012 - Philosophical Papers 41 (3):455-477.
    Abstract Objections to life extension often focus on its effects for individual well-being. Prominent amongst these concerns is the possibility that life extending technologies will extend lifespan without preventing the ageing of the mind. Writers on the subject express the fear that life extending drugs will keep us physically youthful whilst our minds decay, succumbing to dementia, boredom, and loneliness. Generally these fears remain speculative, in part due to the absence of genuine life extending technologies. In this paper, however, I (...)
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  • Death.Steven Luper - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    First, what constitutes a person's death? It is clear enough that people die when their lives end, but less clear what constitutes the ending of a person's life.
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