chapter  10
24 Pages

Barbarism and human agency

Intent is too intimate a thing to be more than approximately interpreted by another. It even escapes self-observation. How often we mistake the true reasons for our acts!"

(Emile Durkheim [1897] 1951: 44) In addition to consciously intentional suicide, there is such a thing as half-intentional self-destruction (self-destruction with an unconscious intention) capable of making skillful use of a threat to life and of disguising it as a chance mishap.