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Journal Articles Journal of Applied Ethics and Philosophy Year : 2019

The roots of Hans Jonas' ethics of the future, and precaution

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Abstract

It is sometimes asserted that Hans Jonas would have formulated the precautionary principle because of his awareness of the involuntary consequences of human activity as well as his profound respect for nature. Returning to the origins of the arguments regarding his contribution to 20th century ecological thought, I identify two principal themes in the philosophical enterprise of the German-born American Jewish philosopher. One is a critique of technology and a practical philosophy, i.e. an ethics, regarding mankind and nature. The other is linked to the phenomenology of life and the fundamental ontology of its evolution according to a specific view. In line with this genealogy, I discuss the initial assertion that Jonas’ thinking actually articulates the precautionary principle. Qualifying the two kinds of precaution we are dealing with, I finally offer an analysis of their differences in a strong sustainability framework from the point of view of epistemology.
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hal-03499146 , version 1 (21-12-2021)

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Bertrand Guillaume. The roots of Hans Jonas' ethics of the future, and precaution. Journal of Applied Ethics and Philosophy, 2019, 10, pp.1--7. ⟨10.14943/jaep.10.1⟩. ⟨hal-03499146⟩
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