The NYT reports on the latest incremental advances in the science of lengthening the human lifespan. Maybe someday soon we’ll conquer senescence; maybe eventually we’ll even be able to live forever. But after you’ve lived long enough, wouldn’t continued existence get a little boring? Bernard Williams says so in his classic paper on the “tedium of immortality.” Roy Sorensen and Ben Bradley beg to differ. Meanwhile, given that most of us are afraid of death, it’s weird that we don’t spend more on anti-aging science. Maybe the reason is that we implicitly accept something like Williams’s argument. Or maybe it’s because we are irrationally biased against radical changes to the status quo, as people like Eliezer Yudkowsky and Aubrey de Grey would suggest.
Anthony Collins on the Emergence of Consciousness and Personal Identity
By William Uzgalis, Oregon State University