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On Making Persons: Philosophy Of Nature And Ethics

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Chapter Summary

Strachan Donnelley illuminates Hans Jonas?s general organicist worldview-his ontological foundations-by exploring tensions and linkages with the intimately related Darwinist worldview of Ernst Mayr; Bernard Q. Prusak offers a subtle ethical analysis of how such an ontology, leading to a distinctive philosophical anthropology, might shape attitudes toward current biotechnological possibilities of human cloning; and Lawrence Vogel sensitively juxtaposes Jonas?s own bioethics with the extensions and corrections offered by Jonas?s most prominent Jewish student, the powerfully influential Leon R. Kass. The deep questions of the nature of nature, and, within this largest picture, the nature of human nature, are utterly fundamental to answering any further questions of ethics and policy. Jonas was a passionate thinker, one who could use fighting words like ?slavish? and ?abomination? against the very idea of cloning, but one who at the same time did not allow himself the pretense of infallibility or dogmatic certainty.

Keywords: bioethics; cloning; Hans Jonas; human nature; Strachan Donnelley



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