Philosophical Forum 44 (3):255-273 (2013)
AbstractThe paper discusses Bernard Williams’ argument that immortality is rationally undesirable because it leads to insufferable boredom. We first spell out Williams’ argument in the form of a dilemma. We then show that the first horn of this dilemma, namely Williams’ requirement of the constancy of character of the immortal, is defensible. We next argue against a recent attempt that accepts the dilemma, but rejects the conclusion Williams draws from it. From these we conclude that blocking the second horn of the dilemma is the best way to respond to Williams. Our objection contends that Williams overlooks a basic feature of human existence, namely curiosity, and that his negative evaluation of an eternal life is therefore unconvincing.
Similar books and articles
Teaching with Pensive Images: Rethinking Curiosity in Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Lewis - 2012 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 46 (1):27-45.
Curiosity was Framed.Dennis Whitcomb - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):664-687.
Curiosity as a Moral Virtue.Elias Baumgarten - 2001 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 15 (2):169-184.
Curiosity, Wonder and Education seen as Perspective Development.Paul Martin Opdal - 2001 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 20 (4):331-344.
Hume on Curiosity.Axel Gelfert - 2013 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (4):711-732.
Aristotle’s Immortal Intellect.Mark Amorose - 2001 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 75:97-106.
The Immortal World: The Telos of Daoist Environmental Ethics.Sung-hae Kim - 2008 - Environmental Ethics 30 (2):135-157.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Feminist Themes, and Research Ethics.Lisa S. Parker - 2012 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 5 (1):159-165.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
Williams and the Desirability of Body‐Bound Immortality Revisited.A. G. Gorman - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy:1062-1083.
Boredom, Human Psychology, and Immortality.Andreas Elpidorou - 2021 - American Philosophical Quarterly 58 (4):259-372.
“The End of Immortality!” Eternal Life and the Makropulos Debate.Mikel Burley - 2015 - The Journal of Ethics 19 (3-4):305-321.
References found in this work
The Meaning of Life (Textbook).Thaddeus Metz - 2015 - In Duncan Pritchard (ed.), What Is This Thing Called Philosophy? Routledge. pp. 319-358.
Life, Meaning of.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Elinor Mason & Tim Crane (eds.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Routledge.
Immortality and Meaning: Reflections on the Makropulos Debate.Mikel Burley - 2009 - Philosophy 84 (4):529-547.
Immortality and boredom: a response to Wisnewski.Mikel Burley - 2009 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 65 (2):77-85.