Main Article Content

Abstract

The “Is – Ought” distinction in Philosophy explicitly draws its roots from Hume and has since found fluidity among many thinkers. Hume is vehement that no “Ought” can be derived from the “Is”. This paper argues critically with Jonas that the “Ought” can effectively be derived from the “Is”. The “Is” refers to metaphysics while the “Ought” refers to ethics. It is thus understandable why Hume, who launched a book-burning campaign against metaphysics, would deny that ethical values can be derived from metaphysics. Thus, the fundamental problem addressed by Jonas here is that of basing ethical values on metaphysical principles. In a world characterized by the vehement rejection of metaphysics in favour of science, moral values are claimed to be socially constructed rather than having an ontological foundation. This paper, examines Jonas’ solution to the “Is-Ought” problem. It concludes that life is self-affirmative and therefore, must be allowed to be in an authentic fashion.

Keywords

Hans Jonas Is – Ought responsibility technology metaphysics of life

Article Details

How to Cite
Takov, P. (2022). Hans Jonas on Deriving “Ought” from “Is” As a Pathway to an Objective Imperative in the Scheme of Things. Central Asian Journal of Literature, Philosophy and Culture, 3(11), 20-33. Retrieved from https://cajlpc.centralasianstudies.org/index.php/CAJLPC/article/view/551

References

  1. 1. BERNSTEIN Richard J., “Rethinking Responsibility,” in Social Research 61 (1994), 833-852. (Reprinted in Hastings Center Report, 25 (1995), 13-20).
  2. 2. CARCATERRA Gaetano, Il problema della fallacia naturalistica. La derivazione del dover essere, A. Giuffrè, Milano 1969.
  3. 3. DARWIN Charles, The Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, J. Huxley (intro.), New American Libr. New York 1963.
  4. 4. DONNELLEY Strachan, “Speculative Philosophy, the Troubled Middle, and the Ethics of Animal Experimentation,” in Hastings Center Report, 19, 2 (1989).
  5. 5. FERNANDO Alangaram S., The Principle of Responsinility: The Proposals of Hans Jonas and its Critical Appraisal (Extract of the Doctoral Dissertation), Salesianum, Rome 2004.
  6. 6. HAMBLET Wendy C., “To Being or not to Being? That is the Question for Ethics,” in ANNA-TERESA TYMIENIECKA (ed.), Phenomenology of Life: Meeting the Challenges of Present-Day World, Vol. LXXXIV, Springer, Dordrecht 2005.
  7. 7. HÖSLE Vittorio, “Ontology and Ethics in Hans Jonas”, Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, 23, 1 (2001).
  8. 8. HUME David, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739), III, I.1, Prometheus Books, Amherst NY 1992.
  9. 9. JONAS Hans, “Closer to the Bitter End,” in Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, 23, 1 (2001).
  10. 10. JONAS Hans, “Toward an Ontological Grounding of an Ethics for the Future,” in Mortality and Morality: A Search for the Good after Auschwitz, L. VOGEL (ed. & Introd.), Northwestern University Press, Evanston Ill 1996.
  11. 11. JONAS Hans, “Evolution and Freedom: On the Continuity among Life-Forms,” in Mortality and Morality: A Search for the Good after Auschwitz, L. VOGEL (ed. & Introd.), Northwestern University Press, Evanston Ill 1996.
  12. 12. JONAS Hans, “Toward an Ontological Grounding of an Ethics for the Future,” in Mortality and Morality: A Search for the Good after Auschwitz, L. VOGEL (ed. & Introd.), Northwestern University Press, Evanston Ill 1996.
  13. 13. JONAS Hans ,“Close to the Bitter End,” Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, 23, 1 (2001).
  14. 14. JONAS Hans, “Philosophy at the End of the Century: Prospect and Retrospect, in Mortality and Morality: A Search for the Good after Auschwitz, L. VOGEL (ed. & Introd.), Northwestern University Press, Evanston Ill 1996.
  15. 15. LEVY David, Hans Jonas: The Integrity of Thinking, University of Missouri Press, Columbia 2002.
  16. 16. MONALDI Marcello, Tecnica, Vita, Responsabilità. Qualche Riflessione su Hans Jonas, Guida, Napoli 2000.
  17. 17. MOORE George E., Principia Ethica (1902), Prometheus Books, Amherst NY 1988, I, b.10, 9-10.
  18. 18. NIKULIN Dimitri, “Reconsidering Responsibility: Hans Jonas’ Imperative for a New Ethics,” in Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, 23, 1 (2001).
  19. 19. NORMAN Richard, The Moral Philosophers, Oxford University Press, Oxford NY 1983.
  20. 20. POINCARE Henri, Dernières pensèes, Flammarion, Paris 1913.
  21. 21. RUSSO, Nicola, La biologia filosofica di Hans Jonas, Alfredo Guida Editore, Napoli 2004.
  22. 22. VENDEMIATI Aldo, Universalismo e relativismo nell’etica contemporanea, Marietti S.p.A., Genova-Milano 2007.
  23. 23. VOGEL Lawrence, “Jewish Philosophy after Heidegger: Imagining a Dialogue between Jonas and Levinas,” in Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, 23, 1 (2001).
  24. 24. VOGEL, “Editor’s Introduction, Hans Jonas’s Exodus: From German Existentialism to Post-Holocaust Theology,” in Mortality and Morality: A Search for the Good after Auschwitz, L. VOGEL (ed. & Introd.), Northwestern University Press, Evanston Ill 1996.
  25. 25. WOLIN Richard, Heidegger’s Children: Hannah Arendt, Karl Löwith, Hans Jonas, and Herbert Marcuse, Princeton University Press, Princeton 2001.