Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

2. Undeath and Taxes: Scholars Meet Brain Eaters

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

2. Undeath and Taxes: Scholars Meet Brain Eaters

Article excerpt

Zombies are overrunning academia. In several recent articles, philosophy professors have pondered zombies and the meaning of consciousness. Four mathematicians used a 2009 study to develop epidemiologic models for the outbreak of a zombie infection. In Theories of International Politics and Zombies (2011), political scientist Daniel W. Drezner outlined how, under different conceptions of international relations, world leaders might respond to rampaging zombies. Now comes Adam Chodorow, a specialist in tax law at Arizona State University, with his own deadpan take on the undead.

A zombie crisis raises intricate tax questions, Chodorow writes in the Iowa Law Review (forthcoming). Is a zombie legally alive? Probably, the author thinks. For legal purposes, is the zombie identical to the pre-death individual? That's iffier: "It seems a stretch to consider a flesh-eating automaton to be the same person as the Nobel laureate he used to be ... The zombie could be considered a new being." If your spouse dies and then rises from the grave, are you still married for tax purposes? …

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