Zelfdoding en de waarde van een rationeel leven


Suicide and the value of a rational lifeIn recent Kantian discussions about suicide, it is not uncommon to find relatively ‘mild’ approaches towards suicide. Even though as a rule suicide is still impermissible, some argue that there may be circumstances that can make suicide morally permissible. If a person suffers such that she cannot be considered to have a rational life any more, suicide is no longer immoral because the object of the moral duty is no longer present. In this paper, I investigate this argumentative strategy by exploring what it might mean to have a ‘rational life’. I argue that on a minimal conception, people who suffer unbearably still lead rational lives and suicide is thus not morally justified. On substantial conceptions, however, not only does having a rational life become a contingent affair, it also leads to a more liberal approach towards suicide than ‘mild Kantians’ may be prepared to accept.

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Fleur Jongepier
Radboud University Nijmegen

References found in this work

A Right of Self‐Termination?J. David Velleman - 1999 - Ethics 109 (3):606-628.
Duty and Desolation.Rae Langton - 1992 - Philosophy 67 (262):481 - 505.
Kant on Euthanasia and the Duty to Die: Clearing the Air.Michael Cholbi - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (8):607-610.

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