CFP: Voluntary death – interdisciplinary approaches

Submission deadline: January 31, 2019

Conference date(s):
July 17, 2019 - July 18, 2019

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv, Israel

Topic areas


Interdisciplinary workshop.

Voluntary death – interdisciplinary approaches

Date: 17-18 July 2019.


  • The School of Philosophy at the Tel Aviv University
  • The University of Lorraine in France
  • The Minerva Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of the End of Life at the Tel Aviv University
  • The International Association for the Philosophy of Death and Dying


Statistically, it seems that suicide most often is a cry for help of a person who cannot handle a difficult life situation (maybe partly due to an initial fragility). This kind of suicide is targeted by various forms of suicide prevention, which presupposes a pathologization of this phenomenon. Yet it is also well known that suicide can be, and often is, an existential choice, presented as such by philosophers and by fiction writers. A new form of suicide, made “official” in several countries and under discussion in several others, is associated to the end of life decision, in the context of incurable illnesses and diseases. This new form raises fundamental questions, thus, there is an urgent need to propose a new way to talk about suicide, and this conference aims at preparing the ground for it.

We would like to invite submissions on the following topics

  • Does the assisted suicide legitimately belong to the category of suicides which are “existential choices”, or are its roots are rather close to the first category quoted above, considered pathological? Or maybe those two major categories are not enough?
  • How can we make a distinction between suicide as a pathological condition to suicide as an existential choice? Should this distinction be made and if so, why?
  • Should we look for a better definition of voluntary death and suicidal ideation that will go beyond the neo-liberal account for end of life decisions? Should we think of a construction of broader narratives, which do not require notions of normality, property, autonomy or duty?
  • In light of latest feminist critiques of bioethics (S. Sherwin, S. Wolf, R. Tong, and G. Lloyd, among others) which undermine certain implicit preconceptions in terms like autonomy and rationality, how can we address the main issues in the field of suicidality such as the deprivation debate? Or maybe the very question of this latter debate is ill stated?
  • Is phenomenology of the suicidal experience possible? Or its singularity makes it irreducible to any abstraction or generalization?
  • How can philosophical and scientific language deal with phenomena which resist neutral description?
  • What kind of moral theory fits best the considerations of ethical dimensions of suicide? A theory promoting general principles, or rather a theory insisting on moral sensitivity and imagination?
  • Can epistemology and philosophy of mind contribute to a better understanding of the suicidal mind?
  • Can we offer an alternative philosophical approach that not only explains and clarifies, but also expands the boundaries of language, shaping and changing the ethical reality itself?

Submission modalities

The workshop is open to all disciplines, approaches and methods. Established and early-career scholars, as well as practitioners, are invited to submit proposals to present papers addressing the conference theme.

  • Please send abstracts of between 300 and 500 words to along with a short biography by January 31, 2019.
  • Notification of acceptance: February 14, 2019.
  • The conference language is English.
  • Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation arrangements.
  • The participation to the workshop is free of charge for everyone, but we invite you to register:

Supporting material

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Custom tags:

#suicide, #death, #euthanasia