Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 15, 1990

Anthony Serafini
Pages 329-339

Callahan on Harming the Dead

In this paper I try to defend the notion that the dead can be harmed, in opposition to Callahan and in accord with some ideas of Feinberg. In agreement with Parlit, I argue that the existence of a person has degrees. I suggest that properlies of a subject, such as “reputations” and claims, can persist after death, aIthough the subject as such does not and that these can be harmed. A promise, e.g., can be frustrated merely by being ignored; in that sense a dead person can be wronged, and if wronged, s/he can be harmed.