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The Metaphysics and Ethics of Death: New Essays

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The questions that surround death--Is death a harm to the person who dies? Should we be afraid of death? Can the dead be harmed? Can they be wronged?--have been of widespread interest since Classical times. This interest is currently enjoying a renaissance across a broad spectrum of philosophical fields, ranging from metaphysics to bioethics. This volume is the first to ...more
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published November 4th 2013 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 2013)
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“Those who take their own lives, especially when the quality of those lives is much less bad than those of the cancer patient or the concentration camp prisoner, fly in the face of the normal will to live. They are seen as abnormal, not merely in the statistical sense of being unusual, but of being defective, either morally or psychologically.” 4 likes
“Discussions about the ethics of suicide are immediately biased by the verb that customarily attaches to it in English. One "commits" suicide. Because this presupposes the wrongfulness of the suicide, I avoid that verb, opting instead for "carry out" suicide. This is evaluatively neutral, avoiding both the usual bias against suicide and the unusual bias in favor of it that the verb "achieve" would effect. "Carry out" is preferable to "practice", which implies something ongoing. Finally, "carry out" also implies a suicide that is completed rather than merely attempted.” 1 likes
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