Recently I acquired a free copy of Kuhn’s classic The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Second Edition with Postscript 1969) and immediately realised its potential to help us understand what’s going on in biological aging/longevity research currently. See my Twitter thread under hashtag #studyingstructure. This book is perhaps the best example of a 20th century philosophy – philosophy of science, to be more accurate – book that is easy to read and easy to popularise and was actually immensely read already. This also means easy to misunderstand and overgeneralise, see the mainstream over-use of the word paradigm, but this does not concern us here, since we are applying it within it’s own domain, to conceptually make sense historical change in a scientific discipline.
In the first part of our study we’ve introduced Aubrey de Grey’s utilitarian ‘suffering argument’ for making ‘defeating’ aging a top priority for humanity.
Then we have briefly mentioned that our study is going to demonstrate 4 problems related to this utilitarian premise in the context of healthy longevity that might be discouraging the further highlighted use of this or similar kind of arguments in the hands of healthy longevity supporters to successfully appeal to the mainstream.
The second post showed why the hedonistic utilitarian account behind the argument suffers from several conceptual wounds.
Today we are going to deal with Philosophical Problem 2:
The deep philosophical insufficiency of the ‘suffering argument’ in the context of ‘defeating aging’. Briefly, this argument is missing and actively ignores important positive arguments around healthy longevity, so it is not even the half of the philosophical story related to this topic, because it does not acknowledge the existence of those arguments or the need to articulate them. To put it other way, emphasising the ‘suffering argument’ misconstructs the philosophical problem at hand. Continue reading “Utilitarianism is a double-edge sword for healthy longevity: apropos of de Grey’s ‘suffering’ argument, part 3: why is longevity not a mere side-benefit, but the shining core?”