[lit-ideas] Grice's Suicide

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  • Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2015 19:01:21 -0500

Helm was referring to Borges and suicide and the theological ban on it.
Geary commented, "yep". In fact, suicide needs a conceptual analysis.

For Grice, the "sui-" in 'suicide' is Latin in origin, "since, since
Lucretia, this form of killing was popular." For x to commit suicide "a number
of conditions should be deemed necessary and sufficient." "Usually the one
about to commit suicide does not care about these;" Grice here mentions Cato
of Utica. "Yet they are important.

Once a conceptual analysis is provided, "there is still the question if it
is a good thing, or a bad one;" the implicature being that conceptual
analysis (or 'clarity', to echo Lewis) is not enough. We need an axiological
approach and a way to either refudiate Borges's theologians, or not!



REFERENCES on philosophers on suicide

(A) The Classics -- up to H. P. Grice.

Aquinas, St. Thomas, 1273, Summa Theologica, in Basic Writings of Saint
Thomas Aquinas, Anton Pegis (ed.), New York: Random House, 1945..
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Roger Crist (trans.), Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2000.
Augustine, St., City of God, Gerald G. Walsh, Demetrius B. Zema, Grace
Monahan, Daniel J. Honan (trans.), Garden City, N.Y.: Image Books, 1958.
Cicero, De Finibus, H. Rackham (trans.), London: William Heinemann, 1914.
Donne, J., 1608, Biathanatos, A Declaration of that Paradoxe, or Thesis,
that Selfe-homicide is not so naturally Sinne, that it may never be
Otherwise, London: Humphrey Moseley, 1648.
Durkheim, E., 1897, Le Suicide, Paris: G. Baillière.
d'Holbach, Baron, The System of Nature, or Laws of the Moral and Physical
World, Volume 1, Robinson (trans.), New York: Burt Franklin, 1970.
Hume, D., 1783, Of Suicide, New York: Penguin, 2005. [Available online].
Kant, I., 1785, Metaphysics of Morals, M. Gregor (trans.), Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Locke, J., 1690, Second Treatise of Civil Government in Locke's Two
Treatises of Government, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1960.
Montaigne, M., 1595, Essais Fortunat Strowski et al. (eds.), 5 vols.,
Bordeaux: Pech, 1906–1933.
More, T., 1516, Utopia, George Logan and Robert Merrihew (eds.),
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Plato, Phaedo, David Gallop (trans.), Oxford, Oxford University Press,
–––, Laws, 2 vols., R.G. Bury (trans.), New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons,
Seneca, “On the Proper Time to Slip the Cable,” L. Annaei Senecae Ad
Lucilium Epistulae Morales, L.D. Reynolds (ed.), Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1965.

(B) Grice and beyond.

Amundsen, D., 1989, “Suicide and Early Christian Values”, in Suicide and
Euthanasia: Historical and Contemporary Themes, B. Brody (ed.), Dordrecht:
Barry, V., 2007, Philosophical Thinking about Death and Dying, Belmont:
Beauchamp, T. and Childress, J., 1983, Principles of Biomedical Ethics,
2nd edition., New York: Oxford University Press.
Beauchamp, T.L., 1992, “Suicide”, in Matters of Life and Death, T. Regan
(ed.), New York: McGraw-Hill.
Beck, A.T., Kovacs, M., and Weissman A., 1979, “Assessment of Suicidal
Ideation: The Scale for Suicidal Ideation”, Journal of Consulting and Clinical
Psychology, 47(2): 343–352.
Blauner, S.R., 2002, How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill
Me: One Person's Guide to Suicide Prevention, New York: HarperCollins.
Brandt, R., 1975, “The Morality and Rationality of Suicide”, in A
Handbook for the Study of Suicide, S. Perlin (ed.) Oxford: Oxford University
Campbell, R., and Collinson, D., 1988, Ending Lives, Oxford: Basil
Camus, A. 1975, The Myth of Sisyphus. New York: Penguin.
Cholbi, M., 2000, “Kant and the Irrationality of Suicide”, History of
Philosophy Quarterly, 17(2): 159–176.
–––, 2002, “Suicide Intervention and Non-ideal Kantian Theory”, Journal
of Applied Philosophy, 19: 245–259.
–––, 2007, “'Self-manslaughter' and the Forensic Classification of
Self-inflicted Deaths,” Journal of Medical Ethics, 33: 155–157.
–––, 2010a, “A Kantian Defense of Prudential Suicide,” Journal of Moral
Philosophy, 7: 489–515.
–––, 2010b, “The Duty to Die and the Burdensomeness of Living,”
Bioethics, 24: 412–420.
–––, 2011, Suicide: The Philosophical Dimensions, Peterborough, Ontario:
Cooper, J. M., 1989, “Greek Philosophers on Suicide and Euthanasia”, in
Suicide and Euthanasia: Historical and Contemporary Themes, B. Brody (ed.),
Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Cosculluela, V. 1994, “The Ethics of Suicide Prevention”, International
Journal of Applied Philosophy, 9: 35–41.
–––, The Ethics of Suicide, New York: Garland.
Cowley, C., 2006, “Suicide Is Neither Rational Nor Irrational”, Ethical
Theory and Moral Practice, 9: 495–504.
Devine, P.E., 1978, “On Choosing Death”, in The Ethics of Homicide,
Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Donnelly, J., 1998, “Introduction,” in Suicide: Right or Wrong?, J.
Donnelly (ed.), Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus.
Dworkin, G., Frey, R.G., and Bok, S., 1998, Euthanasia and
Physician-Assisted Suicide:For and Against, Cambridge: Cambridge University
Dworkin, R., 1993, Life's Dominion, New York: Knopf.
Fairbairn, G., 1995, Contemplating Suicide: The Language and Ethics of
Self-Harm, London: Routledge.
Fedden, H.R., 1938, Suicide: A Social and Historical Study, London: Peter
Feinberg, J., 1978, “Voluntary Euthanasia and the Inalienable Right to Life
”, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 7 (1978).
Frey, R.G., 1978, “Did Socrates Commit Suicide?”, Philosophy, 53: 106–108.
–––, 1981, “Suicide and Self-Inflicted Death”, Philosophy, 56: 193–202.
Gay-Willliams, J., 1996, “The Wrongfulness of Euthanasia”, in
Intervention and Reflection: Basic Issues in Medical Ethics, R. Munson (ed.),
Glover, J., 1990, Causing Death and Saving Lives, London: Penguin.
Graber, G.C., 1981, “The Rationality of Suicide” in Suicide and
Euthanasia: The Rights of Personhood, S. Wallace and A. Eser (eds.), pp.
Knoxville: U. Tennessee Press.
Grice, H. P. Way of Words. Harvard University Press.
-- Conception of Value, the Carus lectures. Oxford, Clarendon Press.
Hayry, M., 1991, “Measuring the Quality of Life: Why, How and What?”,
Theoretical Medicine, 2: 97–116.
Hardwig, J., 1996, “Dying at the Right Time: Reflections on Assisted and
Unassisted Suicide,” inEthics in Practice, H. LaFollette (ed.), New York:
Hardwig, J., 1997, “Is There a Duty to Die?”, Hastings Center Report, 27:
Hardwig, J. et al., 2000, Is There a Duty to Die?:And Other Essays in
Bioethics, New York: Routledge.
Hill, D.J., 2011, “What is It to Commit Suicide?”, Ratio, 24: 192–205.
Holley, D.M., 1989, “Voluntary Death, Property Rights, and the Gift of Life
”, Journal of Religious Ethics, 17: 103–121.
Humber, J., and Almeder, R. (eds.), 2000, Is There a Duty to Die?, Totowa,
NJ: Humana Press.
Jamison, K. R., 2000, Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide, Vintage.
Joiner, T., 2010, Myths about Suicide , Cambridge University Press.
Kluge, E.W., 1975, The Practice of Death, New Haven: Yale University Press.
Kupfer, Joseph, 1990, “Suicide: Its Nature and Moral Evaluation”, Journal
of Value Inquiry, 24: 67–81.
Lieberman, L., 2003, Leaving You: The Cultural Meaning of Suicide,
Chicago: Ivan R. Dee.
Luper, S., 2009, Philosophy of Death, Cambridge: Cambridge University
Martin, R.M., 1980, “Suicide and False Desires”, in Suicide: The
Philosophical Issues, M. Battin and D. Mayo (eds.), New York: St. Martin's.
Menzel, P.T., 2000, “The Nature, Scope, and Implications of a Personal
Moral Duty to Die,” in Humber, J., and Almeder, R. (eds.), Is There a Duty to
Die?, Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.
McMahan, J., 2002, The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life,
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Minois, G., 1999, History of Suicide: Voluntary Death in Western Culture,
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Moreland, J.P. and Geisler, N.L., 1990, The Life and Death Debate,
Westport: Greenwood Press.
Narveson, J., 2000, “Is There a Duty to Die?” in Humber, J., and Almeder,
R. (eds.), Is There a Duty to Die?, Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.
O'Keefee, T.M, 1981, “Suicide and Self-Starvation”, Philosophy, 56: 349–
Pabst Battin, M., 1996, The Death Debate. Ethical Issues in Suicide, Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
–––, 2003, “Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide,” in H. LaFollette
(ed)., Oxford Handbook of Practical Ethics, Oxford: Oxford University
Paterson, C., 2003, “On Clarifying Terms in Applied Ethics Discourse:
Suicide, Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia”, International Philosophical
Quarterly , 43(3): 351–358.
Radden, J., 1982, “Diseases as Excuses : Durham and the Insanity Defense”
, Philosophical Studies, 42(3): 349–362.
Ramsey, P., 1978, Ethics at the Edges of Life, New Haven: Yale University
Shneidman, E., 1985, Definition of Suicide, New York: Wiley & Sons.
Singer, P., 1993, Practical Ethics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
–––, 1994, Rethinking Life and Death, New York: St. Martin's.
Sprott, S.E., 1961, The English Debate on Suicide from Donne to Hume,
LaSalle, Ill.: Open Court.
Stern-Gillett, S., 1987, “The Rhetoric of Suicide”, Philosophy and
Rhetoric, 20(3): 160–170.
Stoff, D.M. and Mann, J.J., 1997, “The Neurobiology of Suicide: From the
Bench to the Clinic.”Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 836.
Szasz, T., 2002, Fatal Freedom: The Ethics and Politics of Suicide,
Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.
Tolhurst, W.E., 1983, “Suicide, Self-sacrifice, and Coercion”, Southern
Journal of Philosophy, 21: 109–121.
Tong, R., 2000, “Duty to Die,” in Humber, J., and Almeder, R. (eds.), Is
There a Duty to Die?, Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.
Velleman, J.D., 1999, “Is There a Right of Self-Termination?”, Ethics,
109: 606–628.
Windt, P., 1981, “The Concept of Suicide”, in Suicide: The Philosophical
Issues, M. Pabst-Battin and D.J. Mayo (eds.), London: Peter Owen.

(C) Post-Griceian Literature

Alvarez, A., 1982, The Savage God: A Study of Suicide. New York: Bantam.
Battin, M. and Mayo, D. (eds.), 1980, Suicide: The Philosophical Issues.
New York: St. Martin's.
Donnelly, J. (ed.), 1998, Suicide: Right or Wrong? Amherst, NY: Prometheus.
Joiner, T., 2005, Why People Die by Suicide. Cambridge: Harvard University
Maltsberger, J.T., and Goldblatt, M., 1996, Essential Papers on Suicide.
New York: NYU Press.
Mayo, D., 1986, “The Concept of Rational Suicide”, Journal of Medicine
and Philosophy, 2: 143–155.
Nagel, T., 1970, “Death”, Noûs, 4: 73–80.
Novak, D., 1976, Suicide and Morality: The Theories of Plato, Aquinas, and
Kant and Their Relevance for Suicidology, Scholars Studies Press.
Shneidman, E.S., 1998, The Suicidal Mind, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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