The questions that surround death-Is death a harm to the person who dies? Should we be afraid of death? Can the dead be harmed? Can they be wronged?-have been of widespread interest since Classical times. This interest is currently enjoying a renaissance across a broad spectrum of philosophical fields, ranging from metaphysics to bioethics. This volume is the first to bring together original essays that both address the fundamental questions of the metaphysics of
death and explore the relationship between those questions and some of the areas of applied ethics in which they play a central role.
The essays in Part I of this volume examine some of the Classical approaches to fundamental metaphysical questions surrounding death, addressing in particular the question of whether a person's death can be a harm to her. The theme of the value of death is continued in Part II, with essays addressing this issue through a more contemporary lens. The essays in Part III address the related but separate issue of whether persons can be harmed by events that occur after they die. Finally, the essays
in Part IV apply the metaphysical issues addressed in Parts I through III to various issues in bioethics, including the question of posthumous organ procurement, suicide, and survival after brain injury.
Written by some of the most prominent philosophers working on these issues today, the essays in this volume showcase the state of the art of both the metaphysics of death and its importance to many areas of applied ethics.
James Stacey Taylor is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at The College of New Jersey. He primarily writes on autonomy theory, and the metaphysics of death, as well as on how these theoretical issues relate to matters of practical ethical concern.
Contributors ; Acknowledgements ; Introduction - James Stacey Taylor ; Section I: Classical Approaches to Death and their Critics ; The Damage of Death: Incomplete Arguments and False Consolations - Martha Nussbaum ; The harm of death in Cicero's first Tusculan disputation - James Warren ; Epicurus on the Value of Death - Kai Draper ; Section II: Death, and the Value of Death ; The Evil of Death One More Time: Parallels between Time and Space - Harry S. Silverstein, ; Adaptation - Steven Luper ; Death and Desires - Ben Bradley and Kris McDaniel ; Kripke's Moses - Palle Yourgrau ; Concepts of Value and Our Thinking about Death - Stephen E. Rosenbaum ; Section III: Posthumous Harm ; The Vulnerability of the Dead - Geoffrey Scarre ; Welfare and Harm After Death - Barbara Baum Levenbook ; Section IV: Death and Bioethics ; Doing Posthumous Harm - John Harris ; Suicide: A Qualified Defense - David Benatar ; Brain Injury and Survival - Walter Glannon ; Index