Suicide
The Philosophical Dimensions
  • Publication Date: August 26, 2011
  • ISBN: 9781551119052 / 1551119056
  • 192 pages; 6" x 9"

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Suicide

The Philosophical Dimensions

  • Publication Date: August 26, 2011
  • ISBN: 9781551119052 / 1551119056
  • 192 pages; 6" x 9"

Suicide was selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2012!

Suicide: The Philosophical Dimensions is a provocative and comprehensive investigation of the main philosophical issues surrounding suicide. Readers will encounter seminal arguments concerning the nature of suicide and its moral permissibility, the duty to die, the rationality of suicide, and the ethics of suicide intervention. Intended both for students and for seasoned scholars, this book sheds much-needed philosophical light on one of the most puzzling and enigmatic human behaviors.

Comments

“This outstanding example of contemporary applied ethics also represents state-of-the-art philosophical thought on suicide. … [Suicide is a] well-written, rigorously argued book [that] will be very valuable for courses and programs in applied ethics, health care ethics, and death and dying.” — R.F. White, College of Mount St. Joseph in CHOICE Volume 49.7, March 2012

“Michael Cholbi’s Suicide: The Philosophical Dimensions is a well-written, thoughtful introduction to a sensitive and perennial moral issue. The work is a valuable tool to undergraduates and those seeking to understand the standard positions on suicide that will continue to influence ethical discussions about, among other things, what the definition of suicide is, whether the taking of one’s own life is permissible, and if suicide can be a duty under any set of circumstances.” — Dennis Cooley, North Dakota State University

“This is a philosophers’ book, full of twists and turns and exhaustive examination of arguments on all sides of the issue. The book is remarkably sensible in its exploration of conceptual issues, with a good ear for inquiry. Cholbi dissects the arguments over mind/body dualism, the non-identity problem, the claim that “life is a gift from God,” and the question of whether suicide is ever a duty, among many others, with meticulous care. It is a fine book, an extraordinary contribution to the philosophic discussion of a seriously overheated issue.” — Margaret Pabst Battin, University of Utah

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE: THE NATURE OF SUICIDE

  • Some Examples
    What Should a Definition of Suicide Capture?
    Suicide as Intentional Self-killing
    Can Suicide Be Coerced?
    Conclusion

CHAPTER TWO: THE MORAL IMPERMISSIBILITY OF SUICIDE

  • Christian Arguments for the Impermissibility of Suicide
    Non-religious Arguments for the Impermissibility of Suicide
    Conclusion

CHAPTER THREE: THE MORAL PERMISSIBILITY OF SUICIDE

  • Must a Permission Be Justified?
    Self-defense
    Self-knowledge
    Self-ownership
    Autonomy and Rationality
    Conclusion

CHAPTER FOUR: IS SUICIDE EVER A DUTY?

  • Clarifying a “Duty to Die”
    Suicide in the Service of a Political or Religious Cause
    Suicide Ordered by the State
    Suicide to Unburden Others
    Suicide to Prevent the Deaths of Others
    Conclusion

CHAPTER FIVE: SUICIDE PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION

  • Benign vs. Problematic Measures
    Why Prevent or Intervene?
    The Paternalism Objection
    Morally Permissible Anti-suicide Measures
    Availability of Lethal Means
    Conclusion

CHAPTER SIX: ASSISTED SUICIDE

  • A Duty to Assist Suicide?
    Physician-assisted Suicide
    Aiding Suicide and the Slippery Slope
    Costs, Benefits, and Institutional Design
    Conclusion

EPILOGUE: WHY?

  • Opportunity
    Motive
    Means

CONCLUSION AND SUMMARY

BIBLIOGRAPHY

INDEX

Michael Cholbi is Professor of Philosophy at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.