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Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9780307884916
Author(s): Stephen Cave
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2012
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Dimensions: 160 x 239 x 30 (w x l x h)
Pages: 336

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Description:
A fascinating work of popular philosophy and history that both enlightens and entertains, Stephen Cave's "Immortality "investigates whether it just might be possible to live forever and whether we should want to. But it also makes a powerful argument, which is that it's our very "preoccupation "with defying mortality that drives civilization.
Central to this book is the metaphor of a mountaintop where one can find the Immortals. Since the dawn of humanity, everyone - whether they know it or not - has been trying to climb that mountain. But there are only four paths up its treacherous slope, and there have only "ever "been four paths. Throughout history, people have wagered everything on their choice of the correct path, and fought wars against those who've chosen differently.
While "Immortality "takes the reader on an eye-opening journey from the beginnings of civilization to the present day, the structure is not chronological. Rather it is path driven. As each path is revealed to us, an historical figure serves as our guide.
In drawing back the curtain on what compels humans to "keep on keeping on," Cave engages the reader in a number of mind-bending thought experiments. He teases out the implications of each immortality gambit, asking, for example, how long a person would live if they "did "manage to acquire a pe
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