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?

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?”

The Open Lifespan answer to Jonathan Floyd’s political philosophy organising question: how should we live? Tens of arguments

This is the 4th post inspired by Jonathan Floyd’s book, Is political philosophy impossible? that started a new methodology (paradigm, revolution?) called normative behaviourism (NB). The posts so far:

Open Lifespan and Green political philosophy as single-trend approaches; reading Jonathan Floyd

The Open Lifespan answer to Jonathan Floyd’s political philosophy organising question: how should we live? Preparations

Blind spot of academic political philosophy: not recognising health as a political incentive and healthy longevity as a political goal

Floyd has used NB in his book to argue for social-liberal-democracy (SLD) as the (only) convincing and meaningful answer to the organising question of political philosophy: how should we live?

Our post today is the most relevant one concerning Open Lifespan, the main reason I studied Floyd’s book in the first place. Today, I’m going to demonstrate through a series of arguments that Open Lifespan as a political philosophy also picks out social-liberal-democracy as a compelling (convincing) and politically determinate (meaningful) answer to the foundational question of political philosophy, Floyd poses: how should we live?

Briefly put, the Open Lifespan answer to the question of how should we live: We should live indefinitely longer and healthier as by doing so we ‘exponentially’ enhance all the core elements of social-liberal-democracy (SLD): making it more democratic, more liberal, and more social (egalitarian). Continue reading “The Open Lifespan answer to Jonathan Floyd’s political philosophy organising question: how should we live? Tens of arguments”

Is life in a box is better than no life at all? Help and hope, so.

Last time I’ve introduced the principle of life’s default positivity, and the first formula provided was the one used by Thomas Nagel in his Death essay:

It is good simply to be alive.

Another way to phrase this is comparatively

It’s better to be alive than dead.

Let me introduce now a potential counterargument, extracted from the words of one of my favourite fictional characters, Rosencrantz, played by Garry Oldman in Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Mind you, this is Stoppard’s but not Shakespeare’s Rosencrantz, speaking. How about watching it first:

Here’s the corresponding section from the script: Continue reading “Is life in a box is better than no life at all? Help and hope, so.”

Daily Effort: Thomas Nagel and the principle of life’s default positivity, first take

The thesis or principle I’d like to introduce today is a (possibly) central thesis behind Open Lifespan philosophy and I’ll keep coming back to it throughout this blog and book in the making. I’m going to extract it first from Thomas Nagel’s masterful and dense essay, Death, originally published in Noûs, in 1970 but am actually going to use the edited version published in Mortal Questions, in 1979.
Then I simply try to provide different formulations. So no arguments today, just a start to understand this principle by stating it and have a glimpses at the heavy philosophical concepts behind it.
Nagel’s main problem in the essay is to investigate why and how and when death can be a misfortune (evil, bad) to the persons who died. And it has to do something with bringing ‘to an end all the goods that life contains’.
And in this context the principle is first stated as an ‘allegiation’ that

It is good simply to be alive, even if one is undergoing terrible experiences.

So first formula

1. It is good simply to be alive.

Let’s continue here cause this leads to another formulation of the principle:

Continue reading “Daily Effort: Thomas Nagel and the principle of life’s default positivity, first take”