Staying Alive explores the desire to live forever, which manifests itself in many forms and forums. Many throughout history have measured their self worth by the metric of how they will stay alive: one wants fame, another needs children. One wants to leave behind a personalized legacy, another wants to leave behind the world and enjoy the bliss of heaven. The author's self-expressed "aim has been, simply, to write a readable book that will afford the reader an increased sensitivity to the many ways the desire for immortality has shaped history, philosophy, art, and literature." The thought that this analysis of human longing and culture provokes transcends any one way of approaching these disciplines. It searches for, and connects, deeply personal pursuits with greater collective trends.
Jason K. Swedene is an associate professor of philosophy and humanities at Lake Superior State University in Michigan. Swedene is also the director of the University's Honors Program. He has authored articles in ethics and a book entitled, A Philosophy of Moral Dilemmas: Why We Should Not Feel Guilty About Things We Have Done (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 2007).
Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Preface Chapter 3 Acknowledgements Chapter 4 Chapter One: Death Chapter 5 Chapter Two: Love Chapter 6 Chapter Three: Fame Chapter 7 Chapter Four: Creativity and Legacy Chapter 8 Chapter Five: Spiritual Immortality: Personal Immortality 1 Chapter 9 Chapter Six: Earthly Immortality: Personal Immortality 2 Chapter 10 Chapter Seven: Merging with the Enduring Chapter 11 Appendix Chapter 12 Endnotes Chapter 13 Bibliography Chapter 14 Index