Phenomenon of Life Toward a Philosophical Biology

ISBN-10: 0810117495

ISBN-13: 9780810117495

Edition: 2001

Authors: Hans Jonas, Lawrence Vogel, Eleonore Jonas

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Book details

List price: $34.95
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Publication date: 2/28/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Hans Jonas was a well-known Jewish thinker, an early and influential biomedical ethicist, and an equally early and influential philosopher of technology in the United States and his native Germany. Born in 1904 in Monchengladbach, Jonas studied under Martin Heidegger at the University of Freiburg before Hitler came to power and Heidegger became chancellor of the university. He received his doctorate in 1928 from the University of Marburg. In 1933 he fled Germany and, in 1964, publicly repudiated Heidegger because of his Nazi connections. Jonas taught in Jerusalem and Canada before becoming a professor at the New School for Social Research in New York in 1955, where he was chair of the philosophy department (1957--63) and Johnson Professor of Philosophy (from 1966 until his retirement in 1976). Jonas is best known for his neo-Kantian ethics of responsible caution in the face of the awesome power of modern technology---especially the power of modern biotechnology, including genetic engineering. According to Jonas, we must consult our fears and not our hopes when understanding technological ventures that can have a potentially devastating impact on what it means to be human (and therefore ethical). More than half of Jonas's books were written in German, including an early version of his greatest work, The Imperative of Responsibility (1984).

Introduction: On the Subjects of a Philosophy of Life
Life, Death, and the Body in the Theory of Being
Causality and Perception
Note on Anthropomorphism
Philosophical Aspects of Darwinism
The Meaning of Cartesianism for the Theory of Life
Is God a Mathematician? The Meaning of Metabolism
Note on the Greek Use of Mathematics in the Interpretation of Nature
Note on Whitehead's Philosophy of Organism
Note on the Nonparticipation of DNA in Metabolism
To Move and to Feel: On the Animal Soul
Cybernetics and Purpose: A Critique
Materialism, Determinism, and the Mind
The Nobility of Sight: A Study in the Phenomenology of the Senses
Sight and Movement
Image-making and the Freedom of Man
On the Origins of the Experience of Truth
Transition. From Philosophy of the Organism to the Philosophy of Man
The Practical Uses of Theory
Gnosticism, Existentialism, and Nihilism
Heidegger and Theology
Immortality and the Modern Temper
Epilogue: Nature and Ethics
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