Superlongevity and utilitarianism

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):581 – 595 (2007)
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Peter Singer has argued that there are good utilitarian reasons for rejecting the prospect of superlongevity: developing technology to double (or more) the average human lifespan. I argue against Singer's view on two fronts. First, empirical research on happiness indicates that the later years of life are (on average) the happiest, and there is no reason to suppose that this trend would not continue if superlongevity were realized. Second, it is argued that there are good reasons to suppose that there will be a certain amount of self-selection: the happiest are more likely to adopt superlongevity technology. This means that the adoption of superlongevity technology will have the effect of raising the level of aggregate utility.



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Mark Walker
New Mexico State University

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Susan J. Armstrong & Richard George Botzler.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Problems of the Self.Bernard Williams - 1973 - Cambridge [Eng.]: Cambridge University Press.
Perfectionism.Thomas Hurka - 1993 - New York, US: Oxford University Press. Edited by Thomas L. Carson & Paul K. Moser.

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