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Can We Live Forever?

A Sociological and Moral Inquiry

Bryan S. Turner
 

Can We Live Forever?

An enlightening look into the medical, cultural, religious and philosophical implications of life extension.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9781843317944
July 2009 | 174 Pages | 216 x 140mm / 8.5 x 5.5
 
PRICE:  £19.99  /  $32.95  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com
 
 
9781843317944

About This Book

‘The range and depth of Bryan Turner’s writing is of international renown and in ‘Can We Live Forever?’ he attempts to provide both a sociological analysis of life extension and an unpacking of the moral and ethical implications of the technological advances that promise ‘immortality’. […] It makes fascinating reading.’ —‘Sociology of Health & Illness’

‘Can We Live Forever?’ addresses the modern debate about the Life Extension Project that results from revolutions (actual and predicted) in bio-medicine, transplantation, cosmetic surgery, genetic counseling, stem cell research, cryonics, cloning and so forth that cumulatively promise to deliver eternal life or at least 'prolongevity'. In an engaging and thought-provoking work, the author traces the rise of the Life Extension Project and its claims against an intellectual background of recent analyses of 'waste', sustainable environments and complexity theory.

Although there has been much discussion of increasing life expectancy, this book looks at a range of additional issues: the religious implications of life extension; the psychological consequences, such as ennui; the negative global social and economic factors; the problems of intergenerational justice. The possible benefits and adverse consequences of living forever are fully explored in this illuminating text, offering substance to social scientists working on ageing and demographic change, philosophers interested in questions of continuity and identity, theologians concerned with secular changes in the life course, as well as the general reader.

Readership: Intended for the general reader, this book will also hold much value to students of medical sociology, philosophy and cultural studies.

Author Information

Bryan S. Turner is the Alona Evans Distinguished Visiting Professor of Sociology at Wellesley College, USA.

Table of Contents

1. Longevity and the  Population Debate; 2. The Social Utopia of Human Perfection; 3. Ancient and Modern Techniques of Longevity; 4. The Political Economy of Ageing; 5. The Moral and Spiritual Character of Old Age; 6. Vulnerability and the Ethic of Care; 7. Towards a New Paradigm of Ageing; 8. The Aesthetics of Ageing; References; Index