The Journal of Ethics 18 (4):331-339 (2014)

Authors
Taylor W. Cyr
Samford University
Abstract
Death can be bad for an individual who has died, according to the “deprivation approach,” by depriving that individual of goods. One worry for this account of death’s badness is the Lucretian symmetry argument: since we do not regret having been born later than we could have been born, and since posthumous nonexistence is the mirror image of prenatal nonexistence, we should not regret dying earlier than we could have died. Anthony Brueckner and John Martin Fischer have developed a response to the Lucretian challenge by arguing that it is rational to have asymmetric attitudes toward posthumous and prenatal nonexistence. Recently, Jens Johansson has criticized the Brueckner/Fischer position, claiming that it is irrelevant whether it is actually rational to care about future pleasures but not past pleasures. What matters, according to Johansson, is whether it would be rational for us to care about past pleasures had we come into existence earlier. In this paper, I add to the conversation between Johansson and Brueckner/Fischer by suggesting a way to defend the latter side’s position in a way that has not yet been suggested. I do this by considering a suggestion of Johansson’s for interpreting the Brueckner/Fischer position and by arguing that Johansson’s worry for the position I consider is actually incoherent
Keywords Anthony L. Brueckner and John Martin Fischer  Death  Deprivation approach  Jens Johansson  Prenatal and posthumous nonexistence  Symmetry argument
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DOI 10.1007/s10892-014-9182-1
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Well-Being and Death.Ben Bradley - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Why is Death Bad?Anthony L. Brueckner & John Martin Fischer - 1986 - Philosophical Studies 50 (2):213-221.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Torture and Incoherence: A Reply to Cyr.Duncan Purves - 2015 - The Journal of Ethics 19 (2):213-218.
Death’s Badness and Time-Relativity: A Reply to Purves.Taylor Cyr - 2016 - The Journal of Ethics 20 (4):435-444.
A Puzzle About Death’s Badness: Can Death Be Bad for the Paradise-Bound?Taylor Cyr - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 80 (2):145-162.
The Lucretian Puzzle and the Nature of Time.Jens Johansson - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (3):239-250.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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Death's Badness.Anthony L. Brueckner & John Martin Fischer - 1993 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 74 (1):37-45.

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