Well-being and Death

ISBN : 9780199596256

Ben Bradley
222 Pages
126 x 202 mm
Pub date
Mar 2011
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Well-Being and Death addresses philosophical questions about death and the good life: what makes a life go well? Is death bad for the one who dies? How is this possible if we go out of existence when we die? Is it worse to die as an infant or as a young adult? Is it bad for animals and fetuses to die? Can the dead be harmed? Is there any way to make death less bad for us? Ben Bradley defends the following views: pleasure, rather than achievement or the satisfaction of desire, is what makes life go well; death is generally bad for its victim, in virtue of depriving the victim of more of a good life; death is bad for its victim at times after death, in particular at all those times at which the victim would have been living well; death is worse the earlier it occurs, and hence it is worse to die as an infant than as an adult; death is usually bad for animals and fetuses, in just the same way it is bad for adult humans; things that happen after someone has died cannot harm that person; the only sensible way to make death less bad is to live so long that no more good life is possible.


1. Well-Being
2. The Evil of Death
3. Existence and Time
4. Does Psychology Matter?
5. Can Death be Defeated?

About the author: 

Ben Bradley is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse University. He has published articles in journals such as Nous, Mind, Ethics, and Philosophical Studies, on such topics as the evil of death, the nature of desire, and theories of well-being.

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