In this book, Stephen Cave and John Martin Fischer debate whether or not we should choose to live forever. This ancient question is as topical as ever: while billions of people believe they will live forever in an otherworldly realm, billions of dollars are currently being poured into anti-ageing research in the hope that we will be able to radically extend our lives on earth. But are we wise to wish for immortality? What would it mean for each of us as individuals, for society, and for the planet?

In this lively and accessible debate, the authors introduce the main arguments for and against living forever, along with some new ones. They draw on examples from myth and literature as well as new thought experiments in order to bring the arguments to life. Cave contends that the aspiring immortalist is stuck on the horns of a series of dilemmas, such as boredom and meaninglessness, or overpopulation and social injustice. Fischer argues that there is a vision of radically longer lives that is both recognizably human and desirable. This book offers both students and experienced philosophers a provocative new guide to a topic of perennial importance.

Key Features:

  • Gives a comprehensive overview of the main arguments for and against living forever
  • Uses lively examples from myth, literature, and novel thought experiments
  • Highly accessible—avoiding jargon and assuming no prior knowledge—without sacrificing intellectual rigour
  • Includes helpful pedagogical features, including chapter summaries, an annotated reading list, a glossary, and clear examples

part 1|106 pages

Opening Statements

part 2|51 pages

First Round of Replies

chapter 3|25 pages

Reply to John Martin Fischer

chapter 4|24 pages

Reply to Stephen Cave

part 3|32 pages

Second Round of Replies