Immanuel Kant. The Moral Duty of Self-Preservation

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Abstract

This chapter provides an in-depth examination of Kant’s view of suicide. After a contextualization of Kant’s prohibition of suicide (§2.1), seven different arguments against the moral permissibility of suicide are identified: three from the Lectures on Ethics (§2.2) and four from the published writings (§2.3). Each argument is presented (with possible variations) and explained. Strengths and flaws are pointed out, and possible objections and counter-objections are discussed, taking into consideration the abundant bibliography on the subject. The conclusion is that, against a recent trend in secondary literature, which tends to read Kant as justifying not only a right, but even a duty to suicide, Kant does not allow for any exception to his strict prohibition of suicide.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophical Perspectives on Suicide.
Subtitle of host publicationKant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages11-70
Number of pages60
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-53936-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Suicide
  • Kant
  • Dignity
  • Morality
  • Reason

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