- 現代社会研究 (ISSN:18842623)
- vol.16, pp.55-65, 2013-12
通常わたしたちは、死は人生において最大の悪だと考えており、短い生よりも長い生の方がよりよいと思っている。それでは、不老不死であったとしたなら、わたしたちの人生はよりよいものになるのだろうか。バーナード・ウィリアムズは、不死は本人にとって望ましいものではなく、不死の人間は必然的に人生に退屈すると論じている。本稿は、ウィリアムズの主張の根底にある人格概念をデレク・パーフィットの還元主義的人格概念と比較しつつ、ウィリアムズの議論を批判的に検討する。In 'The Makropulos case: reflections on tedium of immortality', Bernard Williams argued as follows: if death is a misfortune and a longer life is better than a shorter life, then death at any time is evil, and it is better to live than die. Then, it would be not only always better to live but also better to live always, that is, never die. However, an endless life must be meaningless, and we have no reason to want to live till eternity, because eternal life must be a life which is intolerably boring. According to Williams, a person has a certain character and his/her own conception of life and integrity, which is important for us as persons. In contrast, Derek Parfit suggests that personal identity in itself is not important. According to his 'reductionism' account, what really matters to us is not personal identity, but psychological connectedness or continuity (relation R) over time. In this paper, I will examine Williams' supposition that a person must have a fixed character, and then criticize his explanation that an immortal person necessary fails to boredom. Next, I will explain Parfit's theory of personal identity and point out that what matters in my survival is not identity over time, but relation R. Finally, I will conclude that Parfit's concept of person is more plausible to apply to our real human lives.