This book is not about the medical, psychological, psychiatric, sociological, statistical, or even theological aspects of suicide. It does not investigate the pathology of why some people kill themselves and it certainly does not attempt either to prevent or to encourage suicide. It is a book on the philosophy of suicide. It examines (1) the ontology of suicide, i.e., what suicide is from the perspective of being, and (2) the ethics of suicide, i.e., whether suicide ought to be morally permitted and what its effects in the world are when it is. In other words, it is about the "axiology," i.e., the "theory of the value" of suicide. Toward this end, it occasionally considers historical, biographical, and literary cases.
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About the Author
Eric v.d. Luft earned his B.A. magna cum laude in philosophy and religion at Bowdoin College in 1974 and his Ph.D. in philosophy at Bryn Mawr College in 1985. From 1987 to 2006 he was Curator of Historical Collections at SUNY Upstate Medical University. He has taught at Villanova University, Syracuse University, Upstate Medical University, and the College of Saint Rose, and is listed in Who’s Who in America. Luft is the author, editor, or translator of over 600 publications in philosophy, religion, history, history of medicine, and nineteenth-century studies, including Hegel, Hinrichs, and Schleiermacher on Feeling and Reason in Religion: The Texts of Their 1821-22 Debate (1987); God, Evil, and Ethics: A Primer in the Philosophy of Religion (2004); A Socialist Manifesto (2007); Die at the Right Time: A Subjective Cultural History of the American Sixties (2009); and Ruminations: Selected Philosophical, Historical, and Ideological Papers (2010).