Retroactive Harms and Wrongs

Steven Luper

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780195388923
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Retroactive Harms and Wrongs


This chapter examines the concept of the so-called retroactive harms and wrongs related to death, explaining the principle of the immunity thesis which holds that nothing that happens after we are dead harms or benefits us. It presents a case against the existence of proactively harmful postmortem events and argues that an action taken after people die may wrong them retroactively by harming them or by interfering with their desires while they are alive.

Keywords: retroactive harms; death; immunity thesis; postmortem events; desires

Article.  9840 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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