Philosophy and Shelley's Frankenstein

With its 200th anniversary fast approaching, it might be time to revisit Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Check out this audio clip from the Philosopher's Zone, in which the hosts discuss major themes and the predominant philosophies of the novel's day.

Mental Health and Assisted Suicide

Should people with a mental illness be helped to die if that is what they wish? When thinking about assisted suicide, should we distinguish between severe mental and physical health conditions? Or would expanding assisted suicide to mental health conditions simply provide an "out" to tough situations?


Transhumanists seek to use science and technology to improve the human condition and conquer mortality. But is extending life indefinitely a way to promote human flourishing? Or would it just render life meaningless?

Life and Death in Prison

Because of some very harsh mandatory minimum sentencing laws, the U.S. incarcerates a huge number of people, many of whom are serving life without the possibility of parole. This country now has about one quarter of the world’s prison population, which is remarkable, if you consider that we’re not even 5% of the total world population. And our prison population is also rapidly aging, which means that it’s a population with more and more health issues.

Collective Immortality: Living on Through Others

I don't think that the prospect of death saps life of meaning. People dread death, to be sure, especially a premature death. But that does not mean that they want to live forever. But dreading death is consistent with living with purpose and determination, even in the face of death.