David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Bioethics 16 (5):412–424 (2002)
In this paper, I argue that within the Japanese social context, the act of suicide is a positive moral act because the values underpinning it are directly related to a socially pervasive moral belief that any act of self-sacrifice is a worthy pursuit. The philosophical basis for this view of the self and its relation to society goes back to the writings of Confucius who advocated a life of propriety in which being dutiful, obedient, and loyal to one's group takes precedence over the desires of the individual selves that make up the group. I argue that this philosophical perspective poses formidable challenges to Japanese psychiatry (which accepts a contrary western perspective) because, as western psychiatry is based on the concept of autonomous individuality, the Japanese conceive of the self as socially embedded. Because suicide in Japan is viewed as a potentially honorable, virtuous, and even beautiful act of self-sacrifice expressing one's duty to one's group, the western perspective is quite foreign to the Japanese self-conceptual framework. Therefore, since Japanese psychiatry and law have embraced the western medical tradition of viewing suicide as a non-rational response to mental illness, which runs counter to the cultural view that suicide is a moral (and rational) act, I argue that western explanations of suicide present significant cross-cultural problems for Japanese psychiatry
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Kevin Chien-Chang Wu (2008). Altruistic Violence. American Journal of Bioethics 8 (5):28 – 30.
Similar books and articles
Michael Cholbi (2000). Kant and the Irrationality of Suicide. History of Philosophy Quarterly 17 (2):159-176.
Joel Paris (2008). Prescriptions for the Mind: A Critical View of Contemporary Psychiatry. Oxford University Press.
David J. Mayo (1986). The Concept of Rational Suicide. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 11 (2):143-155.
M. Pabst Battin (1980). Manipulated Suicide. Bioethics Quarterly 2 (2):123-134.
Christopher Cowley (2006). Suicide is Neither Rational nor Irrational. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (5):495 - 504.
Sazō Idemitsu (1972). Dotoku of Japan Differs Fundamentally From Western Morals. Office of the Founder's Staff, Idemitsu Kosan Co..
Lawrence Amsel (2011). What is Wrong with Rational Suicide. Philosophia 39 (1):111-123.
Elizabeth B. Ziesenis (1991). Suicide Coverage in Newspapers: An Ethical Consideration. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 6 (4):234 – 244.
Avital Pilpel & Lawrence Amsel (2011). What is Wrong with Rational Suicide. Philosophia 39 (1):111-123.
Arthur L. Kobler (1980). Suicide: Right and Reason. [REVIEW] Bioethics Quarterly 2 (1):46-55.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads10 ( #348,116 of 1,911,917 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #459,829 of 1,911,917 )
How can I increase my downloads?