Reasons and the Fear of Death
Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 - 167 pages
Death, violent or otherwise, is a matter of widespread concern with ongoing debates about such matters as euthanasia and the nature of brain death. Philosophers have often argued about the rationality of fear of death. This book argues that that dispute has been misconceived: fear of death is not something that follows or fails to follow from reason, but rather, it forms the basis of reasoning and helps to show why people must be cooperating beings who accept certain sorts of facts as reasons for acting. Within the context of this account of reasons, the book gives a new understanding of brain death and of physician-assisted suicide.
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accept action alive allowed altruism argue argument assisted suicide attitude autonomy avoid behavior body brain death brain function brainstem breathing capacity chapter claim compassion concept of death concern context conventions cooperation courage danger dead debate depends Dudley and Stephens Dworkin emotions euthanasia evolution evolutionary evolved example explain Fannie Bay fear death fear of death feel formal element genes genetic give heartbeat higher brain Hobbes human idea important inclinations intentional object interests involved issue justice killing Kovesi lives Lucretius material elements matter mean Moral Notions murder natural Northern Territory one's organism pain palliative care particular patient person philosophers play possible premature burial principle problem question rational reasons for acting recognitors recognize relevant response Richard Dawkins risk role selfish sense significance simply social species sorts of facts Steven Pinker suffering survival tests Thomas Hobbes treat Tudor dynasty