Jeff McMahan

in The Ethics of Killing

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780195079982
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833443 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ethics Series


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Analyzes the badness of death for those who die. Argues that our intuitions about the comparative badness of different deaths are best justified if we abandon the idea that death should be evaluated in terms of its effect on the value of life as a whole. Instead, death should be evaluated in terms of the effect that it has on what the victim has reason to care about from an egoistic point of view at the time of death. Only in this way can we adequately explain why the death of a fetus or newborn infant is less bad than the death of an older child or adult.

Keywords: death; egoistic concern; fetus; infant

Chapter.  59779 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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