Schopenhauer on suicide and negation of the will

British Journal for the History of Philosophy 29 (3):494-516 (2021)
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ABSTRACT Schopenhauer's argument against suicide has served as a punching bag for many modern-day commentators. Dale Jacquette, Sandra Shapshay, and David Hamlyn all argue that the premises of this argument or its conclusion are inconsistent with Schopenhauer's wider metaphysical and ethical project. This paper defends Schopenhauer from these charges. Along the way, it examines the relations between suicide, death by voluntary starvation, negation of the will, compassion, and Schopenhauer's critiques of cynicism and stoicism. The paper concludes that there may be gaps in Schopenhauer's system, but not where the aforementioned commentators tried to locate them.

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Michal Masny
Princeton University

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