Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Ethics, philosophy: ethics is concerned with the evaluation and justification of actions and ultimately a justification of morality. See also good, values, norms, actions, deontology, deontological logic, consequentialism, morals, motives, reasons, action theory.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Hans Jonas on Ethics - Dictionary of Arguments

Brocker I 608
Ethics/Jonas: Jonas' thesis: The changed nature of human activity today requires "a change in ethics"(1).
Context: At the end of the 1970s a sharpened ecological awareness emerged, among other things triggered by the report of the Club of Rome (see Progress/Club of Rome
) on the risks that humanity could wipe itself out. See Responsibility/Jonas, Duties/Jonas, Nature/Jonas.
Ethics/Jonas: the area of human responsibility has expanded from the "sphere of action" (2). Modern technology, however, has created an expanded dimension of responsibility that extends to the entire biosphere.
Problem: human knowledge is no longer equal to the potential expansion beyond the actual field of action. A "gap arises between the power of knowing before and the power of action" (3).
Brocker I 610
"The commandment of deliberation": The commandment of deliberation and self-limitation must stop the "going for the whole" of modern technology (4), "cautiousness" must become the core of our everyday activities (5). At another point Jonas also speaks of the "curbing of greed for pleasure to curbing our (technical) ability and our performance" (6).
Ethics/Jonas: Jonas is concerned with an "ethics (...) of prevention and not of progress". (7)
Politics/Jonas: Jonas relies entirely on politics and its coercive means to enforce these ethical imperatives. Education alone is not able to achieve the ethical reconsideration of people. According to Jonas, "a maximum of politically imposed social discipline" (8) is necessary, in the sense of a "policy of renunciation" (Jonas 1984, 86), a "subordination of the present advantage to the long-term imperative of the future" (9).

1. Hans Jonas, Das Prinzip Verantwortung. Versuch einer Ethik für die technologische Zivilisation, Frankfurt/M. 1979, S. 15
2. Ibid. p. 23.
3. Ibid. p. 28.
4. Ibid. p. 71
5. Ibid. p. 82, 323.
6. Hans Jonas, »Warum wir heute eine Ethik der Selbstbeschränkung brauchen«, in: Elisabeth Ströker (Hg.), Ethik der Wissenschaften? Philosophische Fragen, München/Paderborn u. a. 1984, S. 84f.
7. Jonas, 1979, S. 249.
8. Ibid. p.. 255.
9. Ibid.

Manfred Brocker, „Hans Jonas, Das Prinzip Verantwortung“ in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Jonas I
Hans Jonas
Das Prinzip Verantwortung. Versuch einer Ethik für die technologische Zivilisation Frankfurt 1979

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018

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