Suicide - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 20 pages of information about Suicide.
This section contains 5,778 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
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Conceptual and Linguistic Issues

The term suicide carries extremely negative connotations. However, there is little agreement on a formal definition. Some authors count all cases of voluntary, intentional self-killing as suicide; others include only cases in which the individual's primary intention is to end his or her life. Still others recognize that much of what is usually termed suicide neither is wholly voluntary nor involves a genuine intention to die, such as suicides associated with depression or other mental illness. Many writers exclude cases of self-inflicted death that, while voluntary and intentional, appear aimed to benefit others or to serve some purpose or principle—for instance, Socrates drinking the hemlock, Captain Lawrence Oates's (1890–1912) walking out into the Antarctic blizzard to allow his fellow explorers to continue without him, or the self-immolation of war protesters. These cases are usually not called suicide but self-sacrifice or martyrdom, terms with...

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This section contains 5,778 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Suicide Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Suicide from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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