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Philosophical Inquiry

Volume 39, Issue 2, Spring 2015

In Honor of Dionysios Anapolitanos

Paolo Stellino
Pages 79-104
DOI: 10.5840/philinquiry201539226

Kant and Nietzsche on Suicide

This paper aims to develop the antagonism between Kant’s and Nietzsche’s views of suicide by focusing particularly on the relation between morality and life. Whereas Kant establishes a primacy of morality over life and puts forward one main moral argument against the permissibility of suicide, Nietzsche reverses this hierarchical relation and gives to life a primacy over morality. The first two sections will be thus devoted to a critical examination of both positions, while in the third and last section the attention will be focused on the consequences deriving from such approaches. The paper will be concluded by proposing two essential conditions which in the author’s view should be met in order to begin working on a tenable Nietzschean defence of suicide.