By Theresa Morris
Articulates the basic significance of ontology to Hans Jonas’s environmental ethics.
regardless of his super influence at the German eco-friendly celebration and the impact of his paintings on modern debates approximately stem cellphone study within the usa, Hans Jonas’s (1903–1993) philosophical contributions have remained in part obscured. specifically, the ontological grounding he supplies his ethics, in response to a phenomenological engagement with biology to bridge the “is-ought” hole, has now not been totally favored. Theresa Morris offers a accomplished review and research of Jonas’s philosophy that finds the thread that runs via all of his suggestion, together with his paintings at the philosophy of biology, ethics, the philosophy of know-how, and bioethics. She locations Jonas’s philosophy in context, evaluating his principles to these of alternative moral and environmental philosophers and demonstrating the relevance of his idea for our present moral and environmental difficulties. Crafting powerful helping arguments for Jonas’s insightful view of ethics as a question of either cause and emotion, Morris convincingly lays out his account of the root of our duties not just to the biosphere but additionally to present and destiny generations of beings
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Extra info for Hans Jonas's Ethic of Responsibility: From Ontology to Ecology
Was Heidegger truly listening to “Being,” or was he listening to what he wanted to hear from a particular being? How can we negotiate the competing variations on the meaning of being that openness to being might offer each individual without some kind of rational, objective guidelines that could help us determine the goodness or rightness of a prospective action? Opening to being can basically mean anything. It is abstract yet formless, a mere suggestion, easily co-opted by any particular agency with a particular aim.
Having lost its intrinsic value as the result of its reevaluation on the part of science, nature now stands unprotected before us. And because science itself has relinquished any normative claims toward nature, the way is opened for nature to be used for the purposes of technological development. As much as scientific materialism has changed the way we understand nature, so it has changed how we understand our place in the world; we have become thinking subjects in a world of material objects. Consequently we confront the difficult task, in an ethic that seeks to respond to the environmental crisis we face, of finding our way to a more realistic place within nature through a reevaluation of both nature and the human—one emerging from the new ecological scientific understanding of the biosphere that encourages respect for the living planet rather than disregard for its integrity.
As a victim of the Holocaust who has witnessed the dehumanization and destruction of the Jewish people, Jonas, like Emmanuel Levinas, wishes to return ethics to a place of prominence in philosophy. For Jonas, the problem of ethics is the fundamental concern in the question of being, given human technological advances, the problems they raise, and the growing environmental and humanitarian crises facing us. The direction from which each thinker approaches Dasein, the human self, is important because the initial origin of inquiry concerning human existence and its meaning leads inevitably to very different views of what ethics requires.
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