Lecture DescriptionFurther bad aspects of death are considered, including ubiquity, or the fact that death may occur at any time and strike anyone. Professor Kagan invites students to contemplate the possibility of death-free time periods, vacation spots, and activities. Then there is consideration of the value of the human condition, which consists of life, followed by death. Finally, the question is raised as to whether it could be appropriate to refuse to face the facts about our mortality. Professor Kagan distinguishes between two ways in which thinking about these could influence human behavior. On the one hand, it may give one the reason to behave differently; on the other hand, it may just cause a change in behavior.
Course introduction – The nature of persons: dualism vs. physicalism – Arguments for the existence of the soul – Introduction to Plato’s Phaedo; Arguments for the existence of the soul – Free will and near – death experiences-Plato,Arguments for the immortality of the soul – Personal identity: Identity across space and time and the soul theory – Personal identity, Part II: The body theory and the personality theory – Objections to the personality theory – What matters – The nature of death Believing you will die – Dying alone; The badness of death – The badness of death: The deprivation account – Immortality,The value of life – The value of life Other bad aspects of death – Fear of death – How to live given the certainty of death – Suicide, Part I: The rationality of suicide – Deciding under uncertainty – The morality of suicide and course conclusion