The Benefits of Being a Suicidal Curmudgeon: Emil Cioran on Killing Yourself

Southwest Philosophy Review 37 (1):219-228 (2021)
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Emil Cioran offers novel arguments against suicide. He assumes a meaningless world. But in such a world, he argues, suicide and death would be equally as meaningless as life or anything else. Suicide and death are as cumbersome and useless as meaning and life. Yet Cioran also argues that we should contemplate suicide to live better lives. By contemplating suicide, we confront the deep suffering inherent in existence. This humbles us enough to allow us to change even the deepest aspects of ourselves. Yet it also reminds us that our peculiar human ability—being able to contemplate suicide—sets us above anything else in nature or in the heavens. This paper assembles and defends a view of suicide written about in Cioran’s aphorisms and essays.



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Author Profiles

Glenn Trujillo
Vanderbilt University (PhD)
Glenn Trujillo
University of Texas at El Paso

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