Title

On rationally valuing one’s life

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Asian Bioethics Review

Publication Date

9-1-2016

Volume

8

Issue

3

First Page

244

Last Page

257

Publisher

NUS Press Pte. Ltd.

Keywords

Kant, Velleman, Nature of Autonomy Suicide, Self-Determination, Frankfurt School, Value of Human Life

Abstract

Human life has special importance. Human decisions must be granted special respect. It is natural to see these claims as connected. It seems likely that human life has value because human beings possess a unique capacity for self-determination. David Velleman’s argument that the nature of autonomy provides us with a prima facie case against the morally permissibility of suicide, at least in most cases, rests on highly questionable premises. Nonetheless, it does point to the importance of a proper understanding of seemingly arcane notions like the self and autonomy in giving principled and systematic answers to practical moral dilemmas. I will argue here that his case against suicide relies on a Kantian understanding of the nature of the self, and consequently of the nature of autonomy and how it should be respected.

DOI

10.1353/asb.2016.0020

Print ISSN

17938759

E-ISSN

17939453

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2016 The Author

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Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Baker, D. (2016). On rationally valuing one’s life. Asian Bioethics Review, 8(3), 244-257. doi: 10.1353/asb.2016.0020