Asian Bioethics Review 8 (3):244-257 (2016)

Authors
Derek Baker
Lingnan University
Abstract
Human life has special importance. Human decisions must be granted special respect. It is natural to see these claims as connected. It seems likely that human life has value because human beings possess a unique capacity for self-determination. David Velleman’s argument that the nature of autonomy provides us with a prima facie case against the morally permissibility of suicide, at least in most cases, rests on highly questionable premises. Nonetheless, it does point to the importance of a proper understanding of seemingly arcane notions like the self and autonomy in giving principled and systematic answers to practical moral dilemmas. I will argue here that his case against suicide relies on a Kantian understanding of the nature of the self, and consequently of the nature of autonomy and how it should be respected.
Keywords suicide  autonomy  the self  Velleman  Frankfurt
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DOI 10.1353/asb.2016.0020
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