What is Wrong with Rational Suicide

Philosophia 39 (1):111-123 (2011)

Abstract

Recently, the ‘right to die’ became a major social issue. Few agree suicide is a right tout court. Even those who believe suicide (‘regular’, passive, or physician-assisted) is sometimes morally permissible usually require that a suicide be ‘rational suicide’: instrumentally rational, autonomous, due to stable goals, not due to mental illness, etc. We argue that there are some perfectly ‘rational suicides’ that are, nevertheless, bad mistakes. The concentration on the rationality of the suicide instead of on whether it is a mistake may lead to permitting suicides that should be forbidden.

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Lawrence Amsel
Columbia University

References found in this work

Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 1651 - Harmondsworth, Penguin.
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
The Possibility of Altruism.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Oxford Clarendon Press.

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Citations of this work

Retracted Article: A Stoic Defence of Rational Suicide.Floris Tomasini - 2013 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (4):1001-1001.

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