Kant on Suicide

Richard Kraut

in Against Absolute Goodness

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199844463
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919550 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Moral Theory

Kant on Suicide

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This chapter examines Kant's thoughts about suicide. Kant's views should make us realize that the question of whether there are things we should value because they are absolutely good is not a purely theoretical or academic matter without practical consequences. If goodness is a reason-giving property, as Moore and others have claimed, then we will go astray if we fail to recognize it and give it appropriate weight in our everyday lives. If something is not good for anyone, it might still have value and be worthy of choice by being, quite simply, good. This is, in effect, what Kant believes about moral personality: because its activation in good willing is so great an absolute good, it should not be destroyed merely on the grounds that it fails to bring about what it strives to achieve.

Keywords: Kant; suicide; good; value; moral personality

Chapter.  1395 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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