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Against Absolute Goodness$
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Richard Kraut

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199844463

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199844463.001.0001

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Kant on Suicide

Kant on Suicide

Chapter:
(p.127) Chapter 21 Kant on Suicide
Source:
Against Absolute Goodness
Author(s):

Richard Kraut

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199844463.003.0021

This chapter examines Kant's thoughts about suicide. Kant's views should make us realize that the question of whether there are things we should value because they are absolutely good is not a purely theoretical or academic matter without practical consequences. If goodness is a reason-giving property, as Moore and others have claimed, then we will go astray if we fail to recognize it and give it appropriate weight in our everyday lives. If something is not good for anyone, it might still have value and be worthy of choice by being, quite simply, good. This is, in effect, what Kant believes about moral personality: because its activation in good willing is so great an absolute good, it should not be destroyed merely on the grounds that it fails to bring about what it strives to achieve.

Keywords:   Kant, suicide, good, value, moral personality

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