On Persons and Immortality Symposium on Pedro Tabensky, Happiness: Personhood, Community, Purpose

  • Samantha Vice Department of Philosophy Rhodes University PO Box 94 Grahamstown 6140 South Africa


This paper considers Tabensky\'s method of critical introspection, and in particular the conception of personhood that informs it. By interrogating the lives of pure hedonism, divinity and immortality from our already existing conception of personhood, Tabensky argues that such lives are incompatible with what it is to be a person, and desiring to live them is therefore irrational. Concentrating on the example of immortality, I argue that, while there are undoubtedly disadvantages associated with the immortal life, these are contingent rather than essential to the notion of being a person. In fact, we have very little idea of the boundaries of that concept. The paper concludes by looking at the consequences of Tabensky\'s approach for issues surrounding moral vision and improvement, and new technologies of the person. S. Afr. J. Philos. Vol.23(4) 2004: 365-374

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eISSN: 0258-0136