Surviving Death (Carl G. Hempel Lecture Series)

Johnston, Mark

Published by Princeton University Press, 2011
ISBN 10: 0691130132 / ISBN 13: 9780691130132
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In this extraordinary book, Mark Johnston sets out a new understanding of personal identity and the self, thereby providing a purely naturalistic account of surviving death.


Death threatens our sense of the importance of goodness. The threat can be met if there is, as Socrates said, "something in death that is better for the good than for the bad." Yet, as Johnston shows, all existing theological conceptions of the afterlife are either incoherent or at odds with the workings of nature. These supernaturalist pictures of the rewards for goodness also obscure a striking consilience between the philosophical study of the self and an account of goodness common to Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism: the good person is one who has undergone a kind of death of the self and who lives a life transformed by entering imaginatively into the lives of others, anticipating their needs and true interests. As a caretaker of humanity who finds his or her own death comparatively unimportant, the good person can see through death.


But this is not all. Johnston's closely argued claims that there is no persisting self and that our identities are in a particular way "Protean" imply that the good survive death. Given the future-directed concern that defines true goodness, the good quite literally live on in the onward rush of humankind. Every time a baby is born a good person acquires a new face.

From the Inside Flap:

"This outstanding book presents original and indeed brave views on a broad range of issues that are of compelling significance not only to philosophers but also to thinking people more generally. The argument proceeds with great subtlety and sophistication and shows a masterful grasp of philosophy, religion, and the arts. The book is also superbly written--pellucid, stylish, engaging, and at points richly humorous. A tour de force."--Michael Forster, University of Chicago


"This is a major and highly original work of philosophy that culminates in a fascinating argument that, without making any supernatural assumptions, one can literally survive bodily death. The book is elegantly written and the promise of a breathtaking conclusion pulls the reader along."--Alex Byrne, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


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Title: Surviving Death (Carl G. Hempel Lecture ...
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: 2011
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this extraordinary book, Mark Johnston sets out a new understanding of personal identity and the self, thereby providing a purely naturalistic account of surviving death. Death threatens our sense of the importance of goodness. The threat can be met if there is, as Socrates said, something in death that is better for the good than for the bad. Yet, as Johnston shows, all existing theological conceptions of the afterlife are either incoherent or at odds with the workings of nature. These supernaturalist pictures of the rewards for goodness also obscure a striking consilience between the philosophical study of the self and an account of goodness common to Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism: the good person is one who has undergone a kind of death of the self and who lives a life transformed by entering imaginatively into the lives of others, anticipating their needs and true interests. As a caretaker of humanity who finds his or her own death comparatively unimportant, the good person can see through death. But this is not all. Johnston s closely argued claims that there is no persisting self and that our identities are in a particular way Protean imply that the good survive death. Given the future-directed concern that defines true goodness, the good quite literally live on in the onward rush of humankind. Every time a baby is born a good person acquires a new face. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780691130132

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In this extraordinary book, Mark Johnston sets out a new understanding of personal identity and the self, thereby providing a purely naturalistic account of surviving death. Death threatens our sense of the importance of goodness. The threat can be met if there is, as Socrates said, something in death that is better for the good than for the bad. Yet, as Johnston shows, all existing theological conceptions of the afterlife are either incoherent or at odds with the workings of nature. These supernaturalist pictures of the rewards for goodness also obscure a striking consilience between the philosophical study of the self and an account of goodness common to Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism: the good person is one who has undergone a kind of death of the self and who lives a life transformed by entering imaginatively into the lives of others, anticipating their needs and true interests. As a caretaker of humanity who finds his or her own death comparatively unimportant, the good person can see through death. But this is not all. Johnston s closely argued claims that there is no persisting self and that our identities are in a particular way Protean imply that the good survive death. Given the future-directed concern that defines true goodness, the good quite literally live on in the onward rush of humankind. Every time a baby is born a good person acquires a new face. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780691130132

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