Year: 2004 Source: Archives of Suicide Research, v.8, no.1, (2004), p.23-27 SIEC No: 20041271

The authors explore the pre-Durkheim understanding of altruistic suicide. They find that suicide as self-sacrifice was described by early nineteenth-century authors before the delineation of altruism by the French philosopher & mathematician Auguste Comte. The concept evolved, leading to the categorization of altruistic suicide by Savage in England in 1892 & the elaboration of the term by Durkheim in France in 1897. Pre-Durkheim suicidologists were aware of the subtleties of sacrifice as opposed to revenge in this type of suicide. (16 refs)