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Despair And Responsibility: Affinities And Differences In The Thought Of Hans Jonas And Günther Anders

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Chapter Summary

It is one of the peculiarities in the history of the reception of philosophy in the latter years of the twentieth century that two philosophers whose paths crossed several times, who as German Jews driven out by the Nazis suffered a similar fate, and whose philosophy coincided at least in one important point-concern for the future of humanity-, are rarely mentioned in the same breath: Hans Jonas and Günther Anders. Both Jonas and Anders started out from the assumption that the traditional philosophical moral concepts were no longer sufficient to underpin action in the interests of humanity, in view of the destructive tendencies of the technological domination of nature, and above all in view of the possibility that the human species could self-destruct through its nuclear arsenals. Jonas?s ethics of responsibility, therefore theoretically, cannot be separated from the endeavor to understand the ?overall view of being?.

Keywords: Günther Ander; Hans Jonas; humanity



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