Appropriate Attitudes Toward Nonexistence

F. M. Kamm

in Morality, Mortality Volume I: Death and Whom to Save From It

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780195119114
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199872244 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ethics Series

 Appropriate Attitudes Toward Nonexistence

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Considers how one should deal with death, given what makes it bad, and worse than prenatal non‐existence. An evaluation is made of the three main types of factors discussed in Ch. 4 that play a part in our asymmetrical attitude toward death and prenatal non‐existence: the Insult Factor, that death happens to a person who has already existed and undoes him; the Extinction Factor, that death means the possibility of anything significant for the person in the future is over; and the Deprivation Factor, that death deprives the person who dies of significant future goods (the Thomas Nagel/Derek Parfit point). Part of the discussion on the Insult Factor involves looking at the shape of events at the edges of life, as well as within it: incline and decline. This matter is considered further in a brief appendix following this chapter.

Keywords: asymmetry thesis; badness of death; dealing with death; decline; Deprivation Factor; Extinction Factor; Future Deprivation Factor; incline; Insult Factor; non‐existence before creation; prenatal non‐existence

Chapter.  6563 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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