Dictionary of Arguments

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Brocker I 614
Teleology/Purposes/Nature/Existence/Ultimate Justification/JonasVsAristoteles/Jonas: Jonas Thesis: We must accept purposes in nature instead of locating them in the subject's actions. (1) This can be explained by the instinct of self-preservation found in nature in all life. (2)
Context: the question is how to justify that we should limit our lives today for the sake of future generations. See Intergenerational Justice/Jonas, Existence/Jonas, Responsibility/Jonas, Humanity/Jonas.
Jonas speaks of the "superiority of purpose per se over futility" and adds: "In purposefulness as such, whose reality and effectiveness in the world according to the previous [...] is to be considered established, we can see a fundamental self-affirmation of being, which sets it absolutely as the better against non-being. In every purpose being explains itself and against nothingness" (3).


1. Hans Jonas, Das Prinzip Verantwortung. Versuch einer Ethik für die technologische Zivilisation, Frankfurt/M. 1979, p. 138.
2. Ibid. p. 142f.
3. Ibid. p. 155.

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


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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.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] 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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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-04-20
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