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Philosophical Essays. From Ancient Creed to Technological Man.

Hans Jonas (E) – Technology and Responsibility

Reflections on the New Tasks of Ethics

sábado 23 de outubro de 2021, por Cardoso de Castro

      

JONAS, Hans. Philosophical Essays. From Ancient Creed to Technological Man. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1974

      

All previous ethics - whether in the form of issuing direct enjoinders to do and not to do certain things, or in the form of defining principles for such enjoinders, or in the form of establishing the ground of obligation for obeying such principles - had these interconnected tacit premises in common-, that the human condition, determined by the nature of man and the nature of things, was given once for all; that the human good on that basis was readily determinable; and that the range of human action and therefore responsibility was narrowly circumscribed. It will be the burden of my argument to show that these premises no longer hold, and to reflect on the meaning of this fact for our moral condition. More specifically, it will be my contention that with certain developments of our powers the nature of human action has changed, and since ethics is concerned with action, it should follow that the changed nature of human action calls for a change in ethics as well  : this not merely in the sense   that new objects of action have added to the case material on which received rules of conduct are to be applied, but in the more radical sense that the qualitatively novel nature of certain of our actions has opened up a whole new dimension of ethical relevance for which there is no precedent in the standards and canons of traditional ethics.


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