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Death, Immortality, and Meaning in Life

John Martin Fischer

Publication Date - June 2019

ISBN: 9780190921149

216 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $26.95

A brief and accessible introduction to the philosophical issues and problems associated with death and immortality


The most recent addition to the Fundamentals of Philosophy series, John Martin Fischer's Death, Immortality, and Meaning in Life offers a brief yet in-depth introduction to the key philosophical issues and problems concerning death and immortality. Its engaging and accessible narrative is clearly organized into ten chapters that address meaning in life, death, the badness of death, time and death, ideas on immortality, near-death experiences, and extending life through medical technology.


  • Incorporates a new discussion of the meaning of life that expands on existing work by Susan Wolf and others
  • Features a detailed and highly engaging discussion of immortality that examines its connections to anti-aging efforts, past and present; near-death experiences; the existential fascination with living forever; and contemporary efforts to extend life by heroic medical means
  • Presents novel discussions of metaphysical issues that contain new contributions to debates--i.e., why death is different from our pre-natal nonexistence

About the Author(s)

John Martin Fischer is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, and a University Professor at the University of California. He is coauthor of Near-Death Experiences: Understanding Visions of the Afterlife (OUP, 2016), and coeditor of Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings, Eighth Edition (OUP, 2018). He was Project Leader of The Immortality Project (John Templeton Foundation).


"This is the gold-standard for an introductory text on the philosophy of death. It is an excellent, clear, and concise book that contains a substantive introduction to each of the most important topics. It is perfect for undergraduate courses on the philosophy of death."--Travis Timmerman, Seton Hall University

"The writing is compelling, the order is logical, the examples are relevant and helpful, and the flow is strong."--Todd May, Clemson University

Table of Contents

    1. Meaning in Life
    2. The Meaning of Death
    3. Bads without Negative Experiences?
    4. It's About Time: Timing and Mirror Images
    5. The Meaning of Immortality
    6. Would Immortal Life Be Recognizably Human?
    7. Identity, Boredom, and Immortality Realism
    8. Near-Death Experiences and Supernaturalism
    9. Near-Death Experiences: Their Significance
    10. The Final Chapter