Philosophical Inquiries 7 (2):35-59 (2019)

Fabio Fossa
University of Turin
The purpose of this essay is to attempt an interpretation of Hans Jonas’s philosophical approach to tradition in terms of an exercise in critical thinking. Although several modern authors have seen in tradition a normalizing and conservative force that either constrains the powers of human reason or prevents new disruptive ideas from thriving, other philosophers have contested this accusation and concurred to sketch the general guidelines of a theory of the critical value of tradition. Commenting on both published and unpublished material, I claim that Jonas’s meditation on the history of western culture belongs to this latter stance. Moving from this thesis, I then analyse some passages of Jonas’s oeuvre where his position concerning the critical potential of tradition is theorised or directly put into practice. In particular, I focus on the essay The Practical Uses of Theoryand on an unedited transcription of the 1967 conference Contemporary Problems in Science and Ethics. A Jewish Comment.
Keywords Hans Jonas  Tradition  Critical Thinking
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,634
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Hans Jonas’ Philosophical Biology.Gereon Wolters - 2001 - Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 23 (1):85-98.
Hans Jonas: The Integrity of Thinking. [REVIEW]Craig Perfect - 2003 - Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 24 (1):231-235.


Added to PP index

Total views
6 ( #1,041,612 of 2,348,975 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #238,452 of 2,348,975 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes