The experience of life and completion of suicide

Background: Over the last century the medical view of suicide (that it is always or almost always the result of a mental disorder) has prevailed. It has been refuted but it persists. We are of the view that a more realistic path to suicide can be characterized by three components 1) people may find life […]

Stay: A history of suicide and the philosophies against it.

Worldwide, more people die by suicide than by murder, and many more are left behind to grieve. Despite distressing statistics that show suicide rates rising, the subject, long a taboo, is infrequently talked about. In this sweeping intellectual and cultural history, poet and historian Jennifer Michael Hecht channels her grief for two friends lost to […]

The myth of Sisyphus and other essays.

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Anodyne Psychotherapy for Suicide: a Psychological View of Suicide

This paper presents a set of propositions about anodynic psychotherapy for suicidal persons which itself focusses on certain psychological needs which have been uniquely frustrated. These frustrated needs cause dangerously heightened psychological pain, or psychache, in the individual’s mind. (21 refs.)

Why we Need Qualitative Research in Suicidology

Using the differentiation between explanations & understanding from philosophy of science as the point of departure, a critical look at the current mainstream suicidological research was launched. An almost exclusive use of quantitative methodology focusing on explanations is demonstrated. This bias in scope & methodology has to a large extent taken the suicidological field into […]

Towards a Definition of Suicide

In this presentation, the problems associated with defining suicide & related concepts were enumerated. Suggestions for characteristics that could be used to distinguish suicides from non-suicides were examined. It was concluded that none of the proposed distinctions could stand alone. The presentation concluded with some reflections on the relevance of each of the proposed criteria […]

A Question for Camus

In this presentation, the primacy of Camus’s question, “is life worth living?” was challenged. It was suggested there is a more basic question that people must answer when confronted by crisis or difficulty, namely, “will I change?” This question must also be asked in treatment. These ideas were expanded upon during the presentation. Case examples […]

Permission to Suicide

The presenter made a philosophical exploration of basic issues in suicide prevention. The first question posed was whether suicide is ever rational. The discussion then moved to whether or not a counsellor should intervene; it is asserted the therapist has a duty to intervene if there are signs of ambivalence. The discussion ended with thoughts […]

Euthanasia and Suicide in Antiquity: Viewpoint of the Dramatists and Philosophers

This paper examines attitudes towards active euthanasia & suicide in ancient Greece by studying the works of various dramatists & philosophers. Active euthanasia was rejected by the majority of both because it was considered to be a violation of the autonomy of the individual & an action against the will of the gods. Passive euthanasia […]

Book Review-History of Suicide: Voluntary Death in Western Culture, by G Minois

Dollimore gives a favourable review of Minois’ book saying he is judicious in assessing all the available evidence & for the most part steersclear of speculative generalization. The socio-historical evidence is analyzed particularly well but the literary & philosophical explorations of suicide are not as insightful.

Ethics, Apologetics and the Metaphysical man

This article presents an imagined conversation between a metaphysicist and a person about to attempt suicide.

Suicide in a Cultural History Perspective, Part 1. Western Culture; Attitudes to Suicide up to the 19th Century

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Suicide in a Cultural History Perspective, Part 2. Modern History and Legislation

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Ways of Pastmaking

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The Education of Sisyphus: Absurdity, Educative Transformation, and Suicide

This article examines the idea of suicide as a metaphor for transformative education. Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus is used as a framework for discussing the absurdity of education as well as the lucidity available through an openness to personal and professional transformation. An argument is made for a rhythmic progression of lucidity and comfort […]

Suicide Bombers, Authoritarian Minds, and the Denial of Others

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Anomie my Enemy

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The ‘Right’ to die: the Case for and Against Voluntary Passive Euthanasia

A Pagan Platonist and a Christian Platonist on Suicide

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The Disavowal of the Social in the American Reception of Durkheim

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A Reply to Some Standard Objections to Euthanasia

Euthanasia and the Slippery Slope

Peter Singer and Non-Voluntary ‘Euthanasia’: Tripping Down the Slippery Slopes