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Morality, Mortality Volume I: Death and Whom to Save From It$
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F. M. Kamm

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780195119114

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195119118.001.0001

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(p.67) Appendix: Inclines and Declines

(p.67) Appendix: Inclines and Declines

Morality, Mortality Volume I: Death and Whom to Save From It

F. M. Kamm

Oxford University Press

Considers further, part of the discussion on the Insult Factor, one of the three main types of factor discussed in Ch. 4 that play a part in our asymmetrical attitude toward death and prenatal non‐existence: it looks at the shape of events at the edges of life, as well as within it — incline and decline. It makes the point that the preference for an incline over a decline seems to play some role in explaining the asymmetry problem, and may therefore be worth examining further. An attempt is made to find an explanation for this that abstracts from the way that awareness of the pattern of one's life may operate. First, possible explanations for this preference for an incline are canvassed. Then they are grouped (insofar as this is possible) into two categories: active factors, by which is meant that there is some significant causal chain, set up either naturally or by an agent, from past to future; and passive factors, by which is meant that there is some significance to mere change over time, assuming time's direction from past to future, independent of any causal connection between past and future.

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