David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (5):495 - 504 (2006)
Richard Brandt, following Hume, famously argued that suicide could be rational. In this he was going against a common ‘absolutist’ view that suicide is irrational almost by definition. Arguments to the effect that suicide is morally permissible or prohibited tend to follow from one’s position on this first issue of rationality. I want to argue that the concept of rationality is not appropriately ascribed – or withheld – to the victim or the act or the desire to commit the act. To support this, I explore how the concept is ascribed and withheld in ordinary situations, and show that it is essentially future-oriented. Since the suicide victim has no future, it makes no sense to call his act rational or irrational. The more appropriate reaction to a declared desire for suicide, or to the news of a successful suicide, is horror and pity, and these are absent from Brandt’s account, as is a humble acknowledgement of the profound mystery at the heart of any suicide.
|Keywords||suicide rationality Richard Brandt despair pity internal reasons|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Stanley Cavell (1979). The Claim of Reason: Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality, and Tragedy. Oxford University Press.
Bernard Williams (1979). Internal and External Reasons. In Ross Harrison (ed.), Rational Action. Cambridge University Press 101-113.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Karen F. Balkin & Robert D. Lane (2005). Assisted Suicide. Greenhaven Press.
Margaret P. Battin (1994). Going Early, Going Late: The Rationality of Decisions About Suicide in Aids. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 19 (6):571-594.
Michael Cholbi (2010). A Kantian Defense of Prudential Suicide. Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (4):489-515.
Daniel J. Hill (2011). What is It to Commit Suicide? Ratio 24 (2):192-205.
Michael Cholbi (2012). What is Wrong with “What is Wrong with Rational Suicide”. Philosophia 40 (2):285-293.
M. Pabst Battin (1980). Manipulated Suicide. Bioethics Quarterly 2 (2):123-134.
Arthur L. Kobler (1980). Suicide: Right and Reason. [REVIEW] Bioethics Quarterly 2 (1):46-55.
Avital Pilpel & Lawrence Amsel (2011). What is Wrong with Rational Suicide. Philosophia 39 (1):111-123.
Lawrence Amsel (2011). What is Wrong with Rational Suicide. Philosophia 39 (1):111-123.
David J. Mayo (1986). The Concept of Rational Suicide. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 11 (2):143-155.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads183 ( #20,335 of 1,934,456 )
Recent downloads (6 months)13 ( #41,660 of 1,934,456 )
How can I increase my downloads?