By Jack Li (auth.)
lt is with nice excitement that I write this preface for Or Li's booklet, wh ich addresses the venerable and vexing matters surrounding the matter of no matter if loss of life could be a damage to the person that dies. This challenge is an historical one that used to be raised some time past by means of the early Greek thinker Epicurus, who notoriously argued that demise is at no time a damage to its 'victim' simply because ahead of loss of life there is not any harrn and after demise there isn't any sufferer. Epicurus's end is conspicuously at odds with our prereflective and generally our post-reflective-intuitions, and various techniques have hence been proposed to refute or steer clear of the Epicurean end that dying can't be an evil in spite of everything. How then are we to account for our instinct that demise isn't just an evil, yet probably the worst evil: which could befall us? this is often the main factor that Or Li addresses. Or Li's booklet explores a number of substitute techniques to the complicated and hard concerns surrounding Epicurus's infamous argument and offers a defence ofthe intuitively believable end that loss of life can certainly be a damage to the person that dies. This problem to Epicurus's declare that loss of life is rarely a damage to the person that dies is built in terms of an in depth exploration of the problems raised not just through Epicurus, but additionally by means of his many successors, who've replied variously to the demanding matters which Epicurus raised.
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Additional info for Can Death Be a Harm to the Person Who Dies?
Suppose this person took a pride in his intelligence before his brain injury. In addition. suppose he did not always feel ver) happy because 28 CHAPTERONE of his high self-esteem. Suppose also he does not suffer any pain during the process of his brain injury. Suppose, besides, he feels very happy and satisfied all the time after his brain injury. According to the laner part of (4), in Case Five, the state of affairs this person is in now would be a good thing for hirn, since he experiences and[eels the state of affairs as good.
I wish I, or my children, could lead it''J 11 I think that the examples in these two arguments have successfully justified this principle. Given this principle, some proponents ofthe deprivation theory might incautiously conclude that death can be a harm to the per~on who dies, even if it is a mere experiential blank. However, some opponents of the deprivation theory, such as Rosenbaum, try to reject the deprivation theory by arguing as folIows: We agree that certain things never actually experienced as unpleasant or bad by a person can be a harm to that person.
To take a relatively wider view of the cause of his death), then his death would be a hann or might even be a tragedy for hirn. These alternatives discomfort McMahan. I think nevertheless that each of these perspectives of evaluation is very understandable and plausible. After alL it is reasonable to evaluate one event (or state of affairs) differently when considering it from different points of view. In some circumstances, we are inclined to take a relatively narrower THE DEPRIVATION THEORY 55 view ofthe cause of a person's death; whereas in other circumstances.