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Death and the Afterlife

Samuel Scheffler and Niko Kolodny


Even if we do not believe in a personal afterlife in which we survive our own deaths, we assume that there will be a “collective afterlife” in which humanity survives long after we are gone. Samuel Scheffler maintains that this assumption plays a surprising—indeed astonishing—role in our lives. In certain important respects, the future existence of people who are as yet unborn matters more to us than our own continued existence and the continued existence of those we love. Without the expectation that humanity has a future, many of the things that now matter to us would cease to do so. By cont ... More

Keywords: afterlife, immortality, human extinction, future generations, survival, value, death, meaning of life, egoism, climate change, P. D. James, Bernard Williams

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199982509
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199982509.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Samuel Scheffler, author
University Professor in the Department of Philosophy at New York University

Niko Kolodny, editor

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Death and the Afterlife SAMUEL SCHEFFLER


How the Afterlife Matters


Reply to Commentators Samuel Scheffler

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