Open Lifespan, a view between Closed Lifespan and sub specie aeternitatis

The following is a concise introduction into the philosophy project of Open Lifespan. This week a I put together a research proposal to apply for a philosophy PhD program. The excerpt here is from the introductory project description section of that Research Proposal.

During the last 200 years life expectancy has doubled in developed countries, the global increase in life expectancy between 2000-15 was 5 years, out of which 4.6 years count as healthy longevity. Continue reading “Open Lifespan, a view between Closed Lifespan and sub specie aeternitatis”

Quick, inspiring comment from Jens Bartelson

In Celebrate World Philosophy Day: ideas of philosophers helping Open Lifespan I mentioned 5 living philosophers, whose writings I have used so far to develop further the philosophy of Open Lifespan. My selection of the writings I use is sometimes systematic, sometimes accidental but the intention behind evoking contemporary philosophers is to be able to actually engage them to contribute to and provide feedback to this study. Continue reading “Quick, inspiring comment from Jens Bartelson”

50 GBP reward for the best mathematical analogy of indefinitely long, open lifespan!

Hey mathematicians or just all-around math-savvy people, I have an offer for you: I pay 50 GBP for the best suggestion that is using a mathematical concept that captures indefinitely long Open Lifespan in a way that gives me an a-ha moment so I can incorporate it into my philosophical treatment of the topic.

You have until 17th of December, 2018 to come up with suggestions that can be rewarded. Continue reading “50 GBP reward for the best mathematical analogy of indefinitely long, open lifespan!”

How Open Lifespan changes the political value of time; reading Elizabeth F. Cohen

When I started to study philosophy at the ELTE University in Budapest my first social/intellectual action was to compile a list of classical, modern and contemporary writings about the philosophy of time and then look for other undergrads being interested to seminarise these works. Think about Aristotle’s Physics IV. 10-14, St. Augustine’s Book XI of the Confessions and … the wonderful essay collection on The Philosophy of Time edited by Poidevin/McBeath. Eventually I think it was too nerdy an offering even amongst philosophy students but I stuck with studying these writings a lot. To me  studying the philosophy of time was a huge part of my personal motivation as after studying aging in the years before as a biology student I realised I have a problem understanding what is this ‘time thing’ with respect to biological aging is defined, what are we measuring here …

Philosophy of time and analysis of temporality by conceptual means is a great field and Elisabeth F. CohenAssociate Professor of Political Science at Syracuse University, managed to open a new chapter within this field by writing The Political Value of Time, that was published this very year by Cambridge University Press and I was lucky enough to see it amongst the new offerins at the CUP Bookshop.

I studied this book repeatedly this year, here’s a photo on my annotated copy.

Cohen’s analytical starting point is the tendency to ignore durational time in politics by the social sciences. Hence, most of the study is focusing on the temporal aspects of establishing sovereignty, mostly assumed hidden behind spatial boundaries and then how temporalities like schedules, waiting periods, deadlines are constitutive in the procedures of modern democracies. The main, deliberate subset of examples (‘temporal formulae’) are the age of maturity delimiting children from full citizenship, the probationary period needed for the naturalisation of non-citizens and prison sentences. Continue reading “How Open Lifespan changes the political value of time; reading Elizabeth F. Cohen”

Open Lifespan Book Draft: building the Life Star, one argument a time

I’m pleased to announce that the first draft of my book in progress, called Open Lifespan, is available under a separate page, Open Lifespan: Book Draft. Let’s say it’s version v0.1, ~24,000 words.

What I’ve done so far here is to compile together the existing posts forming the backbone of the book and figure out a larger structure in terms of bigger domains covered. Right now these domains are the following: Continue reading “Open Lifespan Book Draft: building the Life Star, one argument a time”

How many of us are closer to our death than to our birth?

Have you ever wondered how many of us, still breathing, are closer to our death than to our birth already based on our chronological age & average life expectancy? How many of us can wake up every day knowing most of the time ‘allocated’ is gone?

I’m running a poll on Twitter to get a very rough estimation to figure out this ratio. My way of approaching this is to ask you to calculate this quantity (being closer to one’s death/birth) for yourself and the answer the binary poll so we can get to a a first rough estimation.

All you need to do to participate (assuming you have a Twitter account) is to go here  Continue reading “How many of us are closer to our death than to our birth?”

Yuval Noah Harari caught in the Immortality Trap: how to frame Open Lifespan poorly

Several friends of mine, ones I respect a lot, recommended me to read Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari. I was told Harari writes about the potential of longevity technologies lengthening healthy lifespan. I decided to give it a go and purchased the book for GBP 6.99.

My main reference is the ‘Immortality’ section of Homo Deus called The Last Days of Death. That is and was plenty enough.

1. Immortality vs Open Lifespan

The last Days of Death chapter opens with:

In the 21st century humans are likely to make a serious bid for immortality.

Stop right there: Harari thinks the term ‘immortality’ captures the human quest of continuously lengthening biologically human, healthy lifespan.

With in opening like this Harari is conceptually instantly closing the serious discussion of this topic by falling into the Immortality Trap.[1] Continue reading “Yuval Noah Harari caught in the Immortality Trap: how to frame Open Lifespan poorly”

Individual Open Lifespan Trajectories as hyperobjects; Temporal Undulation

Let’s continue studying Timothy Morton’s Hyperobjects to harness it for Open Lifespan. Earlier I talked about ‘viscosity’ and ‘nonlocality’ and applied them to Open Lifespan trajectories.

Quick recap: Hyperobjects are ‘things that are massively distributed in time and space relative to humans’: think global warming as a paradigmatic case. Now consider a (counterfactual)  individual open lifespan trajectory that is your life lived for hundreds of years: wouldn’t that object qualify for being a hyperobject in the Mortonian sense?

Temporal undulation is the hyperobject characteristic that I was most confused about initially but after couple more careful readings of the corresponding chapter in Hyperobjects it turned out to be the feature where Open Lifespan trajectories can be enlightened and benefit most from Morton’s deep ecological OOO thinking and accompanying superb linguistic forms. Continue reading “Individual Open Lifespan Trajectories as hyperobjects; Temporal Undulation”

Celebrate World Philosophy Day: ideas of philosophers helping Open Lifespan

Let’s celebrate UNESCO’s World Philosophy Day here by listing 6 philosophers (5 still living, 1 dead), whose 6 ideas have been used so far to develop Open Lifespan philosophy further. ‘Ideas’ are meant broadly here including concepts, arguments, theses, all the logical units used by philosophical discussions. Below a quick intro to these philosophers with the particular relevant idea type highlighted in bold. Continue reading “Celebrate World Philosophy Day: ideas of philosophers helping Open Lifespan”

Daily effort: Open Lifespan does not rely on strong anthropocentrism

Anthropocentrism is also known by other names as humanocentrism, human-centeredness or human exceptionalism. It has something to do with attributing a special significance to humans in the universe.
According to the Environmental Ethics entry of Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy strong anthropocentrism only assigns intrinsic value to human beings alone. So intrinsic value, whatever it would be, is captured in absolute terms and applied only to humans.
In weak anthropocentrism value assignment gets relative and quantitative by human beings representing greater amount of intrinsic value than any non-human things.
Ecological thinkers and environmental ethicists have a rather easy job finding traces of anthropocentrism in the works of canonical thinkers of Western philosophy.
Object-oriented ontology also attacks and rejects anthropocentrism and moves away from epistemological approaches.
When working out bits and pieces of Open Lifespan philosophy Continue reading “Daily effort: Open Lifespan does not rely on strong anthropocentrism”