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On rationally valuing one’s life
Asian Bioethics Review
  • Derek Clayton BAKER, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
NUS Press Pte. Ltd.
  • Kant,
  • Velleman,
  • Nature of Autonomy Suicide,
  • Self-Determination,
  • Frankfurt School,
  • Value of Human Life
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.
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Copyright © 2016 The Author

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