Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Brocker I 613
Generational Justice/Ethics/Justification/Jonas: Jonas' thesis: traditional ethics cannot prove why current happiness should not be bought with the misfortune or non-existence of future generations and that "the series [....] should continue" (1). This would require a different foundation of ethics than Kant, for example, knew how to give. In order to be able to deliver them, Jonas leads the triad "Purpose - Value - Duty" into the field.
Being/Should/Ancient Philosophy/Brocker: for ancient philosophy, unlike for modernism since the Enlightenment, there was a close connection between "being" and "should". (See Naturalistic Fallacy).
Jonas: ties in when he says that becuase humanity exists, it is worth preserving. (2)
Brocker I 618
WolfVsJonas: Jonas' reasoning shows that he himself wants to grant future generations a right to be preserved (by us) only if they correspond to our present values (or rather to the values accepted by Jonas). (3)
Contradiction/BrockerVsJonas: but if we are not allowed to technologically shape the world of action of future generations in our image (see Technology/Jonas): Why are we allowed to do this ethically?


1.Hans Jonas, Das Prinzip Verantwortung. Versuch einer Ethik für die technologische Zivilisation, Frankfurt/M. 1979, p. 35.
2. Ibid. p. 92-100.
3. Cf. Jean-Claude Wolf „Hans Jonas. Eine naturphilosophische Begründung der Ethik“, in: Anton Hpgli/Poul Lübcke (Hg.) Philosophie im 20. Jahrhundert, Bd. 1, Reinbek 1992, p. 228.


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 2020-02-24
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