SHIFTS IN THANATOLOGICAL APPROACH UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF BIOMEDICAL PROGRESS: ONTOLOGICAL, ANTHROPOLOGICAL, ETHICAL

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Abstract


Death is an invariant of human existence, a kind of its “omega point”. At the same time, the attitude towards it is not a constant, but rather undergoes changes, being incorporated in a wide sociocultural context. The mail goal of the article is an analysis of the nature of these changes at the present stage specifically under the influence of rapid biotechnological progress and dilemmas generated by these changes. Firstly, there is a tendency of increasing optimism: some theorists tend to perceive death not as an inevitable reality, but rather as a problem and a challenge. At the same time a radical direction arises, believing that death can be overcome only through the complete separation of man from its body substrate. The utopian nature of this project forces more moderate theorists to look for indirect way, which consists in a “war” with aging as the main predecessor of death, up to attempts of its complete abolition. Gradually, the formation of scientific immortology as a kind of opposition for thanatology takes place. At the same time, many theorists, and even more ordinary people remain skeptical position about the prospects for victory over death. It can be concluded that biomedical progress actualizes general human intention for self-preservation and death avoidance, but science requires an assessment of not only the objective possibilities for overcoming death but also both ontological and anthropological (including moral) consequences of it.


About the authors

A I Zhelnin

Perm State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: zhelnin90@yandex.ru
15, Bukireva St., Perm, 614990

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