You could choose any of the 4 following topics. Whichever one you decide to choose let me know and I can send you some readings for it that may be of help to you!
Write 4 pages on one of the following topics:
(1) Epicurus on Being Dead
Epicurus thought that we should not fear death because death is nothing to us…when death is come, we are
not. Stephen Rosenbaum defends Epicurus argument. He thinks that something cant be bad for you unless
you can experience it, and you cant experience being dead. Is Rosenbaum right to defend Epicurus? Whats the
strongest objection to Rosenbaums view? How would he respond? Is this a good response?
(2) Harms after Death
Some think that, once were dead, if we no long exist, then were at least, finally, beyond harm. Is this true or is
it possible to be harmed by events that occur after youve died? George Pitcher thinks that a person can be
wronged and harmed by events that occur after s/he dies. Why? How? What are the strongest objections to his
view? How does Pitcher respond to these objections? Are his responses plausible? Why or why not?
(3) Is the Harm of Death Avoidable?
Some people think that death is a harm because it frustrates desires that we have, which suggests a way to avoid
the the harm of death: adjust our desires. Steven Luper thinks that this is not a good strategy. Why? What do
you think? Is Luper correct? Defend your answer.
In Bernard Williams The Makropulos Case, EM takes an anti-aging elixir at 42 years of age, and, at 342 years
of age, shes bored to death, and she is considering stopping the elixir. She has bodily health, but shes
psychologically sick of life. Bernard Williams thinks that theres nary little that you could say to EM that would
warrant her changing her mind about ending her life. He also thinks that EMs fate is inevitable for us. He
thinks that, if any of us took the elixir, wed find ourselves, at some point, in the same position as EM, bored to
death and, consequently, considering ending our lives. Is Williams correct? What, if anything, could you tell
EM, or do for EM, to convince her that itd be better for her not to stop taking the elixir? Is EMs fate
inevitable for any one of us who took the anti-aging elixir?