Seminar: Mortality and Immortality

This course will examine some fundamental philosophical questions that arise about death. After comparing differing conceptions of death and differing views about whether we continue to exist after we die, we will consider whether death is bad for the person who dies. We intuitively think that our deaths are bad for us, but, as Lucretius famously points out, most of us do not lament that we were not born sooner. Is it problematic that we tend to hold inconsistent attitudes towards prenatal versus postmortem nonexistence? Is immortality desirable or valuable? How might our thinking about these issues surrounding mortality and immortality inform our thinking about the value of human existence and what makes a life worth living?

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Prerequisites: PHIL 201 or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Watkins

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring