- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Death1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Summary" above.
Write-up2 (as at 19/04/2018 18:30:14): Death
- Death is important to our study because we’re considering our persistence conditions4, whether we consider ourselves to be
→ Human Persons5.
→ Human Animals6 (members of the species homo sapiens7), or
→ Human Beings8
and death would seem to be the terminus of such existence.
- That this is so has often been resisted, which is why we must consider such matters as:-
→ Reincarnation10, and
→ Disembodied Existence11.
- Death should be considered a biological event. It is the termination of life12, which is also a biological event, though usually a longer one.
- Other forms of13 – and terminations of – existence may be termed “life” – or “death” – but these are metaphorical expressions used by analogy with biological life or death.
- A particular case of the above is Brain Death14. It’s a large question for Animalists – and holders of the PV15 – whether Brain Death is really death, or whether it is (for holders of the PV) the death (or end) of the person.
- As a spin-off from the (alleged) Corpse Problem16 for animalism17, we need to discuss the process of dying – the transition from life to death. Just when does death occur (for human animals)? No doubt there is a degree of vagueness here.
→ See "Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity, Rational Anticipation, and Self-Concern", p. 81 for the objection.
- However, consideration of whether we should fear death, or the process of dying, is probably beyond the bounds necessary. For a comforting account of the normal process of dying in old age, see this “short18” from the BBC: Link.
- I also need to discuss the process of dying
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read19, include20 the following:-
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - When Do Persons Begin and End?", Baker, 2006
- "Blackmore (Susan) - Dying to Live: Preface", Blackmore
- "Brandon (Ed) - Review of David Lund's 'Persons, Souls and Death'", Brandon
- "Carter (William) - Will I Be a Dead Person?", Carter
- "Cushing (Simon) - Don’t Fear the Reaper: An Epicurean Answer to Puzzles About Death and Injustice", Cushing
- "Cushing (Simon) - Fred Feldman: Confrontations with the Reaper", Cushing, 2006?
- "Dougary (Ginny) - A Very English Farewell", Dougary
- "Feldman (Fred) - Confrontations with the Reaper: A Philosophical Study of the Nature and Value of Death", Feldman, 1992
- "Feldman (Fred) - The Termination Thesis", Feldman
- "Fischer (John Martin) - Death, Metaphysics, and Morality", Fischer
- "Fischer (John Martin) & Speak (Daniel) - Death and the Psychological Conception of Personal Identity", Fischer+Speak, 2000
- "Gert (Bernard), Lizza (John), Youngner (Stuart) & Chiong (Winston) - Matters of 'Life' and 'Death'", Gert et al, 2006
- "Kagan (Shelly) - Death", Kagan, 200721
- "Mackie (David) - Personal Identity and Dead People", Mackie
- "Martin (L. Michael) & Augustine (Keith) - The Myth of an Afterlife: Preface", Martin & Augustine
- "Mulgan (Tim) - Critical Notice of Jeff McMahan's The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life", Mulgan
- "Nagel (Thomas) - Birth, Death, and the Meaning of Life", Nagel, 1989
- "Nagel (Thomas) - Death", Nagel, 1979
- "Newman (Sandra) - Infanticide", Newman
- "Olberding (Amy) - Is the death of an elder worse than the death of a young person?", Olberding
- "Olson (Eric) - Animalism and the Remnant-Person Problem", Olson22
- "Olson (Eric) - Life After Death and the Devastation of the Grave", Olson
- "Olson (Eric) - The Person and the Corpse", Olson
- "Olson (Eric) - Why Is Death Bad?", Olson
- "Popkin (Gabriel) - What the death of an oak tree can teach us about mortality", Popkin
- "Rosenberg (Jay) - Prefaces & Prelude to Thinking Clearly About Death", Rosenberg
- "Strawson (Galen) - Why I Have No Future", Strawson_G, 2007?
- "Taylor (James Stacey) - The Myth of Posthumous Harm", Taylor
- "Velleman (David) - Dying", Velleman
- The two main books on this topic would seem to be:-
→ "Bradley (Ben), Feldman (Fred) & Johansson (Jens) - The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death", and
→ "Luper (Steven), Ed. - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death".
- A further reading list (where not covered elsewhere – ie. above, under Brain Death23 and Near-Death Experiences24, Ivan Ilych25, or under the various options for post-mortem existence also listed above) might start with:-
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Death and the Afterlife", Baker, 2005
- "Blackmore (Susan) - Dying to Live: Near-Death Experiences", Blackmore, 1992
- "Chiong (Winston) - Brain Death without Definitions", Chiong, 200626
- "DeGrazia (David) - Identity, What We Are, and the Definition of Death", DeGrazia, 2005
- "DeGrazia (David) - The Nature of Human Death", DeGrazia, 2014
- "Fischer (John Martin), Ed. - The Metaphysics of Death", Fischer, 1993
- "Green (James W.) - Beyond the Good Death: The Anthropology of Modern Dying", Green, 2008
- "Hershenov (David) - The Problematic Role of ‘Irreversibility’ in the Definition of Death", Hershenov, 2003
- "Hershenov (David) - The Death of a Person", Hershenov, 2006
- "Hick (John) - Death and Eternal Life", Hick, 1996
- "Kamm (F.M.) - Why Is Death Bad?", Kamm, 1998
- "Lamb (David) - Diagnosing Death", Lamb, 1978
- "Lizza (John) - Persons And Death: What's Metaphysically Wrong With Our Current Statutory Definition Of Death?", Lizza, 1993
- "Lizza (John) - Persons, Humanity, & the Definition of Death", Lizza, 2006
- "Luper (Steven) - Death", Luper, 2002
- "McMahan (Jeff) - Death and the Value of Life", McMahan, 1988
- "McMahan (Jeff) - Death", McMahan, 2002
- "McMahan (Jeff) - Endings", McMahan, 2002
- "Nagel (Thomas) - Death", Nagel, 1970
- "Perrett (Roy W.) - Death", Perrett, 1987
- "Perrett (Roy W.) - 'My Death'", Perrett, 1987
- "Rosenberg (Jay) - Thinking Clearly About Death", Rosenberg, 1998
- "Sider (Ted) - The Evil of Death - What Can Metaphysics Contribute", Sider, 2015
- "Singer (Peter) - How Death was Redefined", Singer, 1994
- "Valberg (J.J.) - I Will Die", Valberg, 200727
- "Weisman (David) - Dissolution into Death: The Mind’s Last Symptoms Indicate Annihilation", Weisman, 2015
- This is mostly a place-holder28.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (19/04/2018 18:30:14).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
- I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
- As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
- The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.
- So, is the resurrection life – if there is one – really “life” or a continued and enhanced form of existence? Also, is the “second death” really “death”?
- I suppose I would allow alternative metabolisms to count as “life”, so that a robot that maintained itself might be said to be “alive”; and, consequently, the destruction of such a being might be classified as “death”.
- The author – a medical doctor (Kathryn Mannix – see With the End In Mind) – talks about the “good death” and the process of dying in your bed being not so scary. The dying drift in and out of consciousness, and return from unconsciousness feeling much as after a refreshing sleep, so we know the coma doesn’t feel frightening and isn’t noticed when it happens. The “death rattle” shows just how relaxed you were. Normal dying is a really gentle process.
- Would that were the way for all, rather than as the result of a rather painful trauma when you’re not ready to go. Consider Ray Wilkins & Eric Bristow dying of cardiac arrest “before their time”, plus loads of young blacks (and those mistaken for being young blacks) dying from puncture wounds.
- Periods of unconsciousness are usually treated the same as “dreamless sleep”, though it’s subtly different as the person cannot be awakened from it. For supporters of the various psychological views of personal identity this is sometimes meant to imply intermittent existence which is sometimes seen as problematic.
- Frequently I’ll have made copious marginal annotations, and sometimes have written up a review-note.
- In the former case, I intend to transfer the annotations into electronic form as soon as I can find the time.
- In the latter case, I will have remarked on the fact against the citation, and will integrate the comments into this Note in due course.
- My intention is to incorporate into these Notes comments on material I’ve already read rather than engage with unread material at this stage.
- I may have read others in between updates of this Note – in which case they will be marked as such in the “References and Reading List” below.
- Papers or Books partially read have a rough %age based on the time spent versus the time expected.
- This is probably the best place to start, though it spends a lot of time discussing the problem of personal identity.
- Was this book ever published?
- This paper probably ought to be in the note on Brain Transplants.
- While it looks like this paper should be studied under the head of Brain Death, and it could be, it really deals with the definition of “death”, so is best covered here.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018