From the Preface:

This book is not about the medical, psychological, psychiatric, sociological, statistical, or even
theological aspects of suicide. It does not investigate the pathology of why some people kill
themselves and it certainly does not attempt either to prevent or to encourage suicide. It is a
book on the philosophy of suicide. It examines (1) the ontology of suicide, i.e., what suicide
is from the perspective of being, and (2) the ethics of suicide, i.e., whether suicide ought to
be morally permitted and what its effects in the world are when it is. In other words, it is
about the "axiology," i.e., the "theory of the value" of suicide. Toward this end, it occasionally
considers historical, biographical, and literary cases. ...

The main point is to argue that suicide ought not automatically to be seen as an expression
of despair, but that some people have non-despondent, creative, altruistic, unselfish, or
advantageous reasons for doing themselves in. The ancients knew this. Our culture has
lost this insight in the meantime. I want to recover it.


I. Suicide as a Practical Philosophical Problem

I.1. Philosophy vs. Sociology
I.2. Relative Values
I.3. A Provisional Definition

II. Suicide as the Murder of an Object

II.1. Murdering the State's Citizen
II.2. Suicide in Japan
II.3. Murdering God's Servant
II.4. Stoic Psychology
II.5. Disharmony in Dualism

III. Suicide as the Annihilation of the Subject

III.1. Spinoza vs. Kirillov vs. Schopenhauer
III.2. Metaphysical Objections to Overcoming the Instinct for Self-Preservation
III.3. Sylvia Plath: Escaping the Present, Fixing the Past, Preventing the Future

IV. Bobby Sands, Elizabeth Bouvia, Socrates, Sydney Carton

IV.1. Political Martyrdom
IV.2. Suicide in Medical Contexts
IV.3. Suicide to Preserve One's Moral Worth
IV.4. Suicide to Create One's Moral Worth

About the Author
Gegensatz Press
as an e-book only
The Value of Suicide, by Eric v.d. Luft

We do not exist because our bodies exist; our bodies exist
because we exist. Our visible mirror images exist only because
we exist first. We do not know that we exist because we see
ourselves in mirrors, but because we simply
know - intuitively,
or even pre-reflectively - that we exist. In other words, we are
not bodily beings with the attribute of spirit; we are spiritual
beings with the attribute of body.
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