Title

The Immortal Experience: Satisfaction in the Existence of the Long-Lived

Date of Award

5-2013

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Department/Major

Biology

First Advisor

Leroy Meyer, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Susan Wolfe, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Scott Breuninger, Ph.D.

Keywords

immortality, satisfaction, memory, identity, long-lived, mortality

Subject Categories

Philosophy of Science

Abstract

Immortal characters are commonly presented as dissatisfied with their immortal state. Chief among the proposed reasons for this dissatisfaction are alienation, boredom, and the accumulation of suffering. I argue that the ability to be satisfied as an immortal being varies widely among individuals and is dependent on the secondary powers associated with the immortality. Using characters from mythology, literature, and film I suggest that an immortal who exists in a world where immortality is rare, but not unique and fulfills certain criteria of temperament and secondary powers has the greatest potential for happiness.

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