Immortality, Memory and Imagination

The Journal of Ethics 19 (3-4):323-348 (2015)
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Abstract

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 limited, so that our temporal reach is fairly significantly constrained. Then, I argue, these alleged problems with immortality will recede. Moreover, similar limitations might help us in the actual world, where life is short. If we cannot see clearly to its end points, both ahead and behind, life will seem longer.

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Citations of this work

The (Un)desirability of Immortality.Felipe Pereira & Travis Timmerman - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (2):e12652.
Synthesizing Methuselah: The Question of Artificial Agelessness.Richard B. Gibson - 2024 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 33 (1):60-75.
Bhishma’s Boon: Reflections on the Complexity of Immortality.Paul Sagar - 2019 - Journal of Value Inquiry 53 (1):91-105.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Mortal questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Meaning in Life and Why It Matters.Susan Wolf - 2010 - Princeton University Press.
Death and the Afterlife.Samuel Scheffler - 2013 - New York, NY: Oup Usa. Edited by Niko Kolodny.
Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1983 - Religious Studies 19 (1):96-99.

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