By Theresa Morris
Articulates the primary significance of ontology to Hans Jonas’s environmental ethics.
regardless of his large impression at the German eco-friendly celebration and the impact of his paintings on modern debates approximately stem mobile learn within the usa, Hans Jonas’s (1903–1993) philosophical contributions have remained partly obscured. specifically, the ontological grounding he supplies his ethics, according to a phenomenological engagement with biology to bridge the “is-ought” hole, has no longer been totally favored. Theresa Morris presents a entire evaluation and research of Jonas’s philosophy that unearths the thread that runs via all of his concept, 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 principles to these of different moral and environmental philosophers and demonstrating the relevance of his concept for our present moral and environmental difficulties. Crafting robust aiding arguments for Jonas’s insightful view of ethics as a question of either cause and emotion, Morris convincingly lays out his account of the foundation of our duties not just to the biosphere but in addition to present and destiny generations of beings
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Extra info for Hans Jonas's Ethic of Responsibility: From Ontology to Ecology
Jonas says, “As functions of the will, ends are solely my own creation. Will replaces vision; temporality of the act ousts the eternity of the ‘good in itself ’” (PL, 215). We are left, then, with “a concept of man characterized solely by will and power—the will for power, the will to will” (PL, 216). ”35 As previously noted, Jonas sees the rise of existentialist thought as a response to the dualism between human beings and nature, a dualism reflected in the fact that Heidegger’s analysis of being, begun through an analysis of human being, completely overlooks the animal nature of the human.
The notion of valuefree science is itself a belief and a cherished one. It serves to inform the hidden metaphysics of the materialist worldview. As I have indicated, the belief that nature lacks intrinsic value is inherent in the Cartesian understanding of substance as mere extension. Extended substance lends itself well to measurement. Abstracted from its qualities and from its connection with the lifeworld, body is merely object and as such reveals the universe to be homogenous. Matter is everywhere essentially the same and subject to the same mechanical laws.
The idea of a cosmos, an ordered whole that is self-contained and self-sustaining, such as we see in Plato’s Timaeus, has given way to the infinite grid, mechanically governed by mathematical laws. What is the place of the human and the value and meaning of nature within such a logically ordered, abstract space? What Jonas is pointing out is the effect dualism has had on the way we understand ourselves in relation to our bodies, the lifeworld, and nature. Under both dualism and the scientific-materialist view, the human being is in an artificial relationship with the natural world, and the existential effect of this particular self-understanding is alienation, anxiety, and despair.
Hans Jonas's Ethic of Responsibility: From Ontology to Ecology by Theresa Morris