The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

Annihilation: the sense and significance of death

Belshaw, Christopher (2009). Annihilation: the sense and significance of death. Stocksfield, UK: Acumen Publishing.

URL: http://www.acumenpublishing.co.uk/display.asp?K=e2...
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

The ever-present possibility of death forces upon us the question of life’s meaning and for this reason death has been a central concern of philosophers throughout history. From Socrates to Heidegger, philosophers have grappled with the nature and significance of death.

In Annihilation, Christopher Belshaw explores two central questions at the heart of philosophy’s engagement with death: what is death; and is it bad that we die? Belshaw begins by distinguishing between literal and metaphorical uses of the term and offers a unified and biological account of death, denying that death brings about non-existence. How our death relates to the death of the brain is explored in detail. Belshaw considers the common-sense view that death is often bad for us by examining the circumstances that might make it bad as well as the grounds for thinking that one death can be worse than another. In addition, Belshaw explores whether we can be harmed after we die and before we were born. The final chapters explore whether we should prevent more deaths and whether, via cryonics, brain transplants, data storage, we might cheat death. Throughout Belshaw shows how questions of personhood and life’s value are bound up with our views on the sense and significance of death.

Annihilation’s in-depth analysis and insightful exposition will be welcomed not only by philosophers working on the metaphysics of death but also by students and scholars alike looking for a foundation for discussions of the ethics of abortion, euthanasia, life-support and suicide.

Item Type: Authored Book
Copyright Holders: Not known
ISBN: 1-84465-135-5, 978-1-84465-135-1
Academic Unit/Department: Arts > Philosophy
Item ID: 24428
Depositing User: Christopher Belshaw
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2010 15:22
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 11:33
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/24428
Share this page:

Actions (login may be required)

View Item
Report issue / request change

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340   general-enquiries@open.ac.uk