By Roy W. Perrett (auth.)

The study for this paintings used to be undertaken in the course of my tenure of a Senior instruct­ send within the school of Arts and tune on the collage of Otago (1983-85). models of a few of the chapters herein have already been accredited for ebook within the type of magazine articles in Philosophy, Philosophy East and West, Sophia, and non secular reports. My because of the editors and publishers involved for permission to reuse this fabric. a couple of humans have assisted me in a variety of methods. My maximum debt is to Graham Oddie, who supervised my doctoral study during this region and with whom i've got had the advantage of innumerable discussions on those and different philosophical issues. i'm very thankful for all i've got discovered from him. i might additionally prefer to thank: Bob Durrant for commenting helpfully on bankruptcy 2; the past due Jim Harvie, either for his priceless feedback (particularly in regards to the fabric of bankruptcy four) and for his encouraging enthusiasm for the complete undertaking; George Hughes for his vast reviews normally paintings; and (for numerous issues of aspect) Alan Musgrave, Charles Pigden and Bryan Wilson. regardless of a lot reliable recommendation, even if, i've got a few­ instances most well liked to head my very own means, recalling Blake's proverb: "If the idiot may persist in his folly he might turn into clever. " with reference to the typing of the manuscript i'm indebted to the word-processor wizardry of Jane Tannahill and Christine Colbert.

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30 Cf. Swinburne, p. 9n CHAPTER 3: THE FEAR OF DEATH I Is it reasonable to fear death? In this chapter I want to consider two ancient Epicurean arguments to the conclusion that it is not. The first maintains that death cannot be an evil for a dead person because that "evil" could have no subject. The second maintains that to fear the prospect of one's future nonexistence is unreasonable because no one feels it reasonable to find it distressing to contemplate the eternity before his or her coming into existence.

Clearly Nagel believes that the objective appoach yields only a partial account of reality. 12 The weak thesis is that the objective approach gives an incomplete picture and requires supplementation by the subjective approach. The strong thesis is that the objective approach actually conflicts with the subjective approach and this conflict is not rationally resolvable. Nagel is apparently committed to the strong thesis; but even the weak thesis would serve to support a claim that one's own death cannot be completely grasped from the objective standpoint.

Similarly for death: my mode of consciousness of my own death is for me of a different sort from my consciousness of the deaths of others. Any attempt to reduce it to the same type as my consciousness of others' deaths simply fails to capture this important difference. I believe that the assessment of this argument requires us to consider more closely a very interesting and difficult problem, one which will occupy our attention in the next chapter. CHAPTER 2: "MY DEATH" I The belief that the notion of one's own death is somehow problematic is a widespread one, quite apart from any purported analogy with the other minds problem.

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