Hans Jonas’s Ethic of Responsibility: From Ontology to by Theresa Morris

By Theresa Morris

Articulates the basic value of ontology to Hans Jonas’s environmental ethics.
regardless of his super effect at the German eco-friendly social gathering and the impression of his paintings on modern debates approximately stem telephone examine within the usa, Hans Jonas’s (1903–1993) philosophical contributions have remained partly obscured. specifically, the ontological grounding he offers his ethics, in line with a phenomenological engagement with biology to bridge the “is-ought” hole, has no longer been absolutely preferred. Theresa Morris presents a finished evaluation and research of Jonas’s philosophy that unearths the thread that runs via all of his notion, together with his paintings at the philosophy of biology, ethics, the philosophy of know-how, and bioethics. She areas Jonas’s philosophy in context, evaluating his rules to these of alternative moral and environmental philosophers and demonstrating the relevance of his idea for our present moral and environmental difficulties. Crafting robust aiding arguments for Jonas’s insightful view of ethics as an issue of either cause and emotion, Morris convincingly lays out his account of the foundation of our tasks not just to the biosphere but in addition to present and destiny generations of beings.

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Additional resources for Hans Jonas’s Ethic of Responsibility: From Ontology to Ecology (SUNY Series in Environmental Philosophy and Ethics)

Sample text

Jonas begins by questioning Heidegger’s definition of truth, claiming he has overlooked the full meaning of alatheia, and he argues that Heidegger’s definition of truth as “unconcealment” as insufficient. Truth as the unconcealment of being, revealed to Dasein, is in danger of falling into subjectivity, and it again seems to place the human at some point outside existence, as a passive witness and observer, rather than situated within the drama of existence. ” Jonas points out that the original meaning of aletheuein was “to abstain The Philosophical Genesis of the Ecological Crisis 35 from concealing and deceiving”; in Jonas’s view alatheia basically means speaking the truth (PL, 181).

In other words, the world for us becomes more and more a created one, and we become further and further removed from the natural one upon which we depend. While this obviously complicates and perhaps aggrandizes the crisis we are facing, it can help us recognize Jonas’s claim as a valid one—our purposes, intentions, and their resulting actions have changed significantly, necessitating the development of a new ethical understanding in response to the altered nature of human action. 7 “Nature” is no longer the “world,” for as Jonas says, “the natural is swallowed up in the sphere of the artificial, and at the same time the total artifact (the works of man that have become ‘the world’ and as such envelop their makers) generates a ‘nature’ of its own, that is, a necessity with which human freedom has to cope in an entirely new sense” (IR, 10).

Dasein is the being who is the clearing of being in the house of language, and therefore Dasein is the being who asks the ontological question and can recognize the ontological difference, but for Jonas, the human is not only an abstract thinker and language-maker but a physical organism, a body in an environment that is not simply a world. Thus while Heidegger’s discussion of the human being as Dasein is revelatory and introduces a new method of phenomenological analysis with which to approach the question of the meaning of being human, it disregards crucial aspects of that being, primarily the biological and evolutionary connections human beings have to nature and to other beings in the world.

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