The author discusses Niklas Luhmann's concept of ethics and morals. Therefore he sketches the main traits of Luhmann's theory of systems (e.g. the terms autopoiesis, system and environment, code and programme). From the system-theoretical point of view, ethics are characterized as the reflexive theory of morals. Morals are described as the communication of regard or disregard. The author shows which consequences follow from this concept by discussing problems concerning several subsystems at the same time. The problems of Luhmann's theory of (...) morals and ethics are demonstrated by analyzing the concepts of risk and responsibility. Finally, the author demands that ethics should be understood even more as social ethics which reflect upon their social foundation in a more consequent way. (shrink)
This paper outlines Hans Ulrich's reworking of the Lutheran doctrine of the estates. He conceives the estates as descriptions of the new patterns of social life that God has promised to found and secure. This emphasis on the divine activity of generating social order is an expression of Ulrich's agreement with common and familiar criticisms of the doctrine, and why he nevertheless believes it indispensable for an evangelical ethic. A construal of the traditional doctrine of the estates that is unique (...) even in his native Lutheran context, it aims not at conservatism, but at a more thoroughly theological and therefore critical relationship to social order than rival theories much more inclined to revisionist rhetorical stances. In a contemporary context in which moral certainties and categories can be disputed at the most fundamental levels, Ulrich's theology seeks a form of theological reasoning that genuinely seeks the illumination of Christian beliefs about reality by taking other moral languages seriously. (shrink)
This paper presents Hans Ulrich's account of Christian ethics as an ethics of `vocation'. It is interested in how Ulrich's account of vocational ethics is developed as a critique of professional ethics. Professional ethics is seen as reflecting the structures of ethical deliberation of the social order that produces it, thereby failing to move beyond the realm of `works'. In contrast, the distinguishing characteristic of Ulrich's vocational ethics is shown to be that it is a response to the Word `from (...) outside'. Consequently, a Christian account of professional ethics needs to show how it can retain a `theological difference' that enables it to respond to the Word that `breaks in' to start something new. The paper discusses the transformation of professionalism in a neo-liberal service economy in order to find out how this `breaking in' actually proceeds. Its test case is providing services to people with intellectual disabilities. (shrink)
This essay introduces the political thought of Hans G. Ulrich as it is presented in his seminal work Wie Geschöpfe leben. What sets Ulrich's thought apart from most other authors in the field is that his interest is not in an account of community or citizenship, but in the status politicus — the political form of existence that is bestowed on human beings as God's creatures who are called to be `ruled by the spirit' instead of succumbing to any form (...) of rule by which human beings exert dominion over human beings. Drawing from Biblical sources and a fresh reading of Luther's doctrine of the two regimes in the spirit of the Confessing Church, Ulrich arrives at a highly emancipative account of political existence that does not derive its rationale from the necessity for co-existence or common action, but from the liberation from `ungodly ties' that prevent people from free discourse and cooperation. (shrink)
The following article starts by summarising how much modern capitalism is characterised by its religious structure. The world of branding — consumer goods becoming religiously attractive — and religious metaphors that have become necessary to describe contemporary neoliberalism are key examples. A second step consists in describing four typical aspects of religious capitalism in the following of Walter Benjamin's fragment `Capitalism as Religion' from 1921. Against this background I thirdly summarise Hans G. Ulrich's theological ethics concerning the economy. At the (...) centre of Ulrich's ethics we find his emphasis on God's economy that relieves us from all our worries enabling us thereby to become cooperators of God acting and working in an ethical way. A final step discusses Ulrich's rejection of an ethics of striving for God as the summum bonum by showing that desire or will do not necessarily contradict with the priority of God's grace. (shrink)
Hans G. Ulrich's book, Wie Geschöpfe leben, engages eclectically but vigorously with moral and theological aspects of the Bible's teaching on ethics. This article employs three questions as an entrée to understanding his encounter with Scripture: it asks about his implicit biblical canon, his approach and presuppositions in hermeneutics, and finally about his major critical conversation partners. Supplementing Ulrich's strong sense of the Bible's importance for theological ethics, a strongly Lutheran reading of notions like `law' and `commandment' here goes hand (...) in hand with a concentration on Matthew, Romans and the Psalms; this in turn is matched by a characteristically unstated (but implicitly Protestant) Rule of Faith. There is a broad engagement with contemporary philosophers and theologians, but little attention is paid either to patristic and medieval voices or for that matter to biblical scholars, even those who have in recent years attempted to recover the connection between Scripture and Theology. (shrink)
Production of Presence is a comprehensive version of the thinking of Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, one of the most consistently original literary scholars writing today. It offers a personalized account of some of the central theoretical movements in literary studies and in the humanities over the past thirty years, together with an equally personal view of a possible future. Based on this assessment of the past and the future of literary studies and the humanities, the book develops the provocative thesis that, (...) through their exclusive dedication to interpretation, i.e. to the reconstruction and attribution of meaning, the humanities have become incapable of addressing a dimension in all cultural phenomena that is as important as the dimension of meaning. Interpretation alone cannot do justice to the dimension of “presence,” a dimension in which cultural phenomena and cultural events become tangible and have an impact on our senses and our bodies. Production of Presence is a passionate plea for a rethinking and a reshaping of the intellectual practice within the humanities. (shrink)
Considering the enormous outpouring of scholarly work on Schmitt over the last two decades, the absence of an adequate treatment in English of Schmitt's concept of history and the problem of secularization is quite surprising. After all, it is Schmitt himself who claims that “all human beings who plan and attempt to unite the masses behind their plans engage in some form of philosophy of history,” such that the attempt to make sense of Schmitt's program remains incomplete without a serious (...) treatment of his philosophy of history. This article is an attempt to address this problem by means of his exchange with Hans Blumenberg who, more than any other critic of Schmitt, was privy to the political intentions behind Schmitt's metaphorical use of theology. While their discussion is extensive and wide-ranging, I focus here on their diverging philosophies of history, precisely that aspect that is most relevant to gaining a more expansive understanding of Schmitt's arguments, and indeed the relationship between political thought and historical thought. (shrink)
Ever since the first meeting of the proponents of the emerging Logical Empiricism in 1923, there existed philosophical differences as well as personal rivalries between the groups in Berlin and Vienna, headed by Hans Reichenbach and Moritz Schlick, respectively. Early theoretical tensions between Schlick and Reichenbach were caused by Reichenbach's (neo) Kantian roots (esp. his version of the relativized a priori), who himself regarded the Vienna Circle as a sort of anti-realist "positivist school"—as he described it in his Experience and (...) Prediction (1938). One result of this divergence was Schlick's preference of Carnap over Reichenbach for a position at the University of Vienna (in 1926), and his decision not to serve as a co-editor with Reichenbach for the journal Erkenntnis that they jointly established in 1930 (which was then co-edited by Carnap and Reichenbach from 1930 to 1938). A second split rooted in different views on induction and probability, which culminated in the Hans Reichenbach's refusal to serve as an invited author on probability within the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science series ed. by Rudolf Carnap, Charles Morris and Otto Neurath from 1938 onwards. In this regard it is remarkable that also Richard von Mises, who was the second leading figure of Logical Empiricism in Turkish exile, criticized the theory of probability put forward by his former Berlin colleague. In this paper I analyse this controversial exchange, drawing on the relevant correspondence and asking whether these (meta) philosophical differences were a typical feature of the pluralism inherent in Logical Empiricism in general. (shrink)
Hans Jonas developed in ‘Past and Truth’ (1991) a demonstration of the existence of God based on the ‘truth of past things’. And in ‘The Concept of God after Auschwitz’ (1984) he created a new myth of divine self-alienation in order to take away God’s responsibility for human misery. Both these texts were conceived as an alternative to a more Hegelian, objective idealist perspective on theology. This article shows that Jonas’s alternative does not fully succeed in this respect because his (...) arguments bring him back to an idealist perspective. His proof of God is revisited and explained using new insights recently developed by Robert Spaemann, whose interpretation of the proof makes it clear that many important critics of Jonas are too quick to reject his claims. The arguments of Jonas now seem to show a new strength even though they still fail to give an alternative to an objective idealist theological framework. (shrink)
Facing the progress of science and technology, Hans Jonas believes that traditional ethical theories are insufficient to guide the actions of contemporary man. To formulate his own theory, the philosopher takes as its basis the responsibilities of parents towards their children and the one the public man has in relation with his community. Despite their differences, these forms of liability are intertwined and complementary. Then arise in jonas' theory the concepts of wholeness, continuity and future, which will cover following the (...) thinking of the philosopher. (shrink)
Este artigo discute a crítica de Hans Jonas ao uso da técnica afastada da racionalidade moral, bem como a proposta ética por ele apresentada que tem como máxima a inclusão da técnica e da natureza na reflexão moral. À luz da ética da responsabilidade serão analisadas duas questões: Por que Jonas afirma ser a ética tradicional como a kantiana, por exemplo, incapaz de mediar a relação homem-natureza-técnica? A reflexão moral jonasiana possibilita ao homo tecnologicus uma conduta ética viável em relação (...) à natureza e à técnica? (shrink)
Embora elaborada principalmente na década de 1970 a ética de Hans Jonas permanece atual e é particularmente relevante pelo uso da metafísica em um contexto pós-moderno (algo inusitado e ousado) e por sua teoria dos valores que podem ser atribuídos ao ser e ao não-ser. Pretende-se aqui apresentar as limitações que Jonas detectou nas éticas tradicionais (judaico-cristã, kantiana, por exemplo) e analisar as soluções por ele propostas (notadamente heurística do medo e futurologia comparada). Compreender também a fundamentação de tais soluções (...) (um dos maiores desafios da ética jonasiana). A pesquisa baseou-se em uma revisão bibliográfica que envolve a fonte primária, a obra de Jonas, e fontes secundárias. Constatou-se que a ética de Jonas surge da detecção de um niilismo tanto prático quanto teórico que permitiu um avanço desenfreado da técnica. É necessário então submeter a atividade humana à ética novamente. Para tanto foi utilizada uma ontologia que atribui relevância ética ao metabolismo (e não à razão). Deste modo, a ética da responsabilidade objetiva combater o niilismo e o ceticismo moral e supervisionar o progresso técnico, garantindo assim a existência de uma vida humana autêntica e de uma natureza que tem a si própria como fim. (shrink)
O filósofo alemão Hans Jonas dedica-se a questões que estão na agenda da discussão ética contemporânea. Sua teoria ético-metafísica, explicitada no livro O princípio responsabilidade: ensaio de uma ética para a civilização contemporânea retoma e amplia as indagações a respeito da relação existente entre homem e técnica na modernidade. O ponto de partida da sua tese é a afirmação de que as novas dimensões do agir humano - ocasionadas pela tecnologia - tornaram possível a realização de ações de grande impacto (...) tanto no globo terrestre quanto ao próprio homem. Questões como clonagem, manipulação genética, controle de comportamento, entre outras, mostram como a humanidade pode recriar um novo modelo humano. A partir destes pressupostos , este artigo concentra-se nas questões bioéticas mais especificamente no campo da medicina. Nossa pretensão é mostrar como Jonas propõe a aplicação de sua teoria moral na prática médica. (shrink)
Este trabajo ofrece una presentación y un examen crítico de una de las ideas filosófico-teológicas más controversiales y sugerentes de Hans Jonas: la de un Dios “sufriente” y “no omnipotente”. Asimismo, se introducen algunas reacciones críticas a dicha noción. Posteriormente, se busca relacionarla, destacando semejanzas y diferencias, con reflexiones recientes en torno a un “pensamiento posmetafísico”. Algunos comentarios sobre la actualidad o pertinencia de la propuesta jonasiana se plantean al final del trabajo.
Nosso trabalho intenta perquirir, ainda que laconicamente, a categoria teológica da ressurreição no contexto da reflexão de Hans Urs von Balthasar. Para tanto, não se apresentará de forma a esgotar a cristologia balthasariana, mas apenas, buscar-se-á adentrar-se em sua obra: Mysterium Paschale, perquirindo, como o referido autor compreende as implicações da ressusrreição na cristologia, não olvidando que Balthasar realiza nesta obra uma reflexão cristológico-trinitária.
Hans Reichenbach, a philosopher of science who was one of five students in Einstein's first seminar on the general theory of relativity, became Einstein's bulldog, defending the theory against criticism from philosophers, physicists, and popular commentators. This book chronicles the development of Reichenbach's reconstruction of Einstein's theory in a way that clearly sets out all of its philosophical commitments and its physical predictions as well as the battles that Reichenbach fought on its behalf, in both the academic and popular press. (...) The essays include reviews and responses to philosophical colleagues, such as Moritz Schlick and Hugo Dingler; polemical discussions with physicists Max Born and D. C. Miller; as well as popular articles meant to clarify aspects of Einstein's theories and set out their philosophical ramifications for the layperson. At a time when physics and philosophy were both undergoing revolutionary changes in content and method, this book is a window into the development of scientific philosophy and the role of the philosopher. (shrink)
Der Laureatus dieser Schrift hatte 1986 Hans Jonas eröffnet, daß er an einer Politischen Philosophie arbeite, aus der, wie die Autoren dieses Bandes wissen, nichts geworden ist und von der man auch sonst nicht viel vernommen hat. Jonas wandte damals ein: "Wie wollen Sie der Politischen Vernunft auf die Beine helfen? Das Wissen über die politischen Bewußtseinsvoraussetzungen in uns und ihre Struktur in Gesellschaften ist in esoterische Teilbestände und exoterische politische Religionen, Ideologien und Denkschulen zerfallen. Diese Angelegenheit müßte einer umfassenden (...) Kritik unterzogen werden. Außerdem müßten alle gescheiterten Restitutionsversuche von Platon bis heute auf ihre Prägnanz hin durchgegangen werden. Er nannte Thomas von Aquin, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Arendt, Strauss, Voegelin und sich selbst. Sie müßten die Erfahrungen und die Maßstäbe, aus denen das politische Bewußtsein sich ernährt und aufrichtet und die, die es vergiften, frei legen." Im nachfolgenden Gespräch über verschiedene Denker und ihre Texte zur politischen Philosophie tauchten metaphorisch die "leuchtenden Fünkchen" oder "Goldklümpchen" auf, in denen Jonas und der Laureatus lebendige Reste der Politischen Vernunft und die menschheitliche Erinnerung an sie erkannten. "Wir sind womöglich aus einer Jeremiade herausgekommen …" lautete der verheißungsvolle Schlußpunkt des kurzen Gesprächs. Der Laureatus, Jurist und Politikwissenschaftler, konnte während seiner Lehr- und Forschungstätigkeit einige Anregungen für "philosophische Fragestellungen" zu den grotesken und verflachten Formationen des politischen Denkens unserer Zeit geben. Die Autoren sind Claus-Ekkehard Bärsch, Giandomenico Bonanni, Ulrich Diehl, Michael Ensslen, Jürgen Gebhardt, Volker Gerhardt, Manfred Henningsen, Vittorio Hösle, Klaus Kodalle, Peter König, Daniel Krochmalnik, Jan-Ivar Lindén, Reiner Manstetten, Krzysztof Maurin, Peter J. Opitz, Thomas Petersen, Walter Rothholz, Florian Sattler, Stephan Sattler, Julius H. Schoeps, Peter von Sivers, Chiara Staude-Colli, Jakob Staude, Kurt Stenzel, Peter Weber-Schäfer, Reiner Wiehl und James Wood. (shrink)
Unter dieses Thema ein internationales Symposion in Berlin zu stellen, das zum Gedenken an Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht (1919-1999) veranstaltet wurde, erschien umso naheliegender, zumal Eggebrecht die Frage aWas ist Musik?o existenziell ...
The phrase 'beyond historicism' is usually associated with Bielefeld historians like Hans Ulrich Wehler and Jürgen Kocka, who attempted to turn the study of history into a social science, but a better candidate would be the sociologist Niklas Luhmann, who happened to teach as well in Bielefeld during the 1970's and 1980's. Luhmann had little affinity with the project of his colleagues from the history department. He took the opposite view that the social sciences suffered from a naive enlightenment view (...) and should become more history minded. Like the historicists of the early nineteenth century Luhmann was indirectly inspired by the philosophy of Leibniz. Although Luhmann's theory of social systems may seem miles away from the daily interests of most historians, it can be interpreted as an Aufhebung of historicism. This will be demonstrated for two important concepts, the autopoietic system which incorporates the historicist notion of individuality and the concept of second order observation which can be read as an abstract redescription of what historicists meant by the historical method. (shrink)
From 1990 on, the London psychologist Max Velmans developed a novel approach to (phenomenal) consciousness according to which an experience of an object is phenomenologically identical to an object as experienced. On the face of it I agree; but unlike Velmans I argue that the latter should be understood as comparable, not to a Kantian, but rather to a noematic.
There has been much speculation among intellectuals and philosophers about the qualitative changes in our habits of communication that have come with electronic technology - so much so that we have perhaps neglected the most obvious quantitative effect: without any doubt, human beings have never been obliged to communicate as frequently as is the case in our electronic present - with the unsurprising and well known consequence that we constantly feel "behind" in our electronic obligations to communicate. From a (pseudo-) (...) ethical point of view, the even more oppressive flip side of this phenomenon is one's need to be constantly "available," the result of which we all know: seminar discussions, religious services, or moments of erotic delight interrupted by ringing cellphones or by a constant anxiety that one needs to check one's e-mail. The main interest of this essay is to explore the existential consequences of this new - and enslaving - law of "universal availability." But this entire polemic is accompanied by the author's concession that his own - very subjective - reaction to electronic communication may well be the (legitimate) reaction of old age. (shrink)