Title

Human expunction

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2017

Abstract

Thomas Nagel in 'The Absurd' (Nagel 1971) mentions the future expunction of the human species as a 'metaphor' for our ability to see our lives from the outside, which he claims is one source of our sense of life's absurdity. I argue that the future expunction (not to be confused with extinction) of everything human-indeed of everything biological in a terran sense-is not a mere metaphor but a physical certainty under the laws of nature. The causal processes by which human expunction will take place are presented in some empirical detail, so that philosophers cannot dismiss it as merely speculative. I also argue that appeals to anthropic principles or to forms of mystical cosmology are of no plausible avail in the face of human expunction under the laws of physics.

Publication Name

International Journal of Astrobiology

Volume Number

16

First Page

379

Last Page

388

Issue Number

4

DOI

10.1017/S1473550417000039

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS