Technology and responsibility: reflections on the new tasks of ethics.--Jewish and Christian elements in philosophy: their share in the emergence of the modern mind.--Seventeenth century and after: the meaning of the scientific and technological revolution.--Socio-economic knowledge and ignorance of goals.--Philosophical reflections on experimenting with human subjects.--Against the stream: comments on the definition and redefinition of death.--Biological engineering--a preview--Contemporary problems in ethics from a Jewish perspective.--Biological foundations of individuality.--Spinoza and the theory of organism.--Sight and thought: a review of "visual thinking."--Change and (...) permanence: on the possibility of understanding history.--The gnostic syndrome: typology of its thought, imagination, and mood.--The hymn of the pearl: case study of a symbol, and the claims for a Jewish origin of gnosticism.--Myth and mysticism: a study of objectification and interiorization in religious thought.--Origen's metaphysics of free will, fall, and salvation: a "divine comedy" of the universe.--The soul in gnosticism and Plotinus.--The abyss of the will: philosophical meditations on the seventh chapter of Paul's epistle to the Romans. (shrink)
O texto apresentado a seguir é uma traduçáo da conferência intitulada “The Burden and Blessing of Mortality” ( The Hastings Center Report , 22, n. 1, jan-fev. 1992, p. 34-40), que foi apresentada à Fundaçáo do Palácio Real [The Royal Palace Foundation], em Amsterdam, no dia 19 de março de 1991. Esta conferência foi traduzida para o alemáo por Reinhard Löw e revisada pelo próprio Jonas, aparecendo com o título “Last und Segen der Sterblichkeit” em Scheidewege 21, 1991/92, p. 26-40, (...) e mais tarde em um livro do próprio Jonas: Philosophische Untersuchungen und metaphysische Vermutungen [Investigações Filosóficas e Suposições Metafísicas] . Frankfurt am Main: Insel Verlag, 1992, p. 81-100. Por sua vez, o texto original, em inglês, veio ainda a fazer parte de uma coletânea de ensaios de Jonas, editada por Lawrence Vogel ( Mortality and Morality : a search for good after Auschwits. Ed. Lawrence Vogel. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1996, p. 87-97). (shrink)
A classic of phenomenology and existentialism and arguably Jonas's greatest work, The Phenomenon of Life sets forth a systematic and comprehensive philosophy -- an existential interpretation of biological facts laid out in support of Jonas ...
Taking a cue from Philo we may ask: If the adoption of the "seeing" approach from Greek philosophy was a misfortune for theology, does the repudiation or overcoming of that approach in a contemporary philosophy provide a conceptual means for theology to reform itself, to become more adequate to its task? Can it thus lead to a new alliance between theology and philosophy after, e.g., the medieval one with Aristotelianism has broken down? The question assumes that some use of philosophy, (...) i.e., of the elucidation of the nature of reality by secular thought, and of the nature of thinking about reality in secular thought, is desirable and even necessary for theology. This assumption must be granted, since theology, as the logos about things divine, is by definition the discursive, in some sense scientific, elucidation of the contents of faith and thus, for one thing, comes under the rules and norms of elucidation and discourse as such; and since the contents of faith comprise the dealings of God with the world and with man, the elucidation of the mundane and human side of this polarity must be informed by a knowledge of what world and man are, and philosophy is supposed to provide such knowledge. It would then follow that that philosophy is most adequate to theology which is most adequate to being, i.e., which is most nearly true—by the criteria of philosophy itself, i.e., by the criteria of secular reason. But since for a decision on this the theologians cannot wait for the consensus of philosophers, nor even necessarily trust its authority, they may be guided in their choice by the appeal of affinity, the lessons of past experience with philosophical liaisons, the present needs of their discipline, and by appraising which philosophy is most helpful to the discharge of theology's task, or least dangerous to its own trust, to its own genuineness, least seductive, least alienating—by any or all of these considerations, but as little as possible by fashion. On all these counts the theologian would do well to exercise a great deal of caution and mistrust. Especially in the face of tempting similarity: what theology needs in this relationship is the otherness of philosophy, not its similarity. On this I need not elaborate before a theological audience. However, the experiment of relationship itself is inescapable, and the one choice closed is abstention. Thus, the openness to contemporary thought shown by theology in the present experiment—as it was shown at all times—is to be welcomed. (shrink)
WHEN MAN FIRST BEGAN to interpret the nature of things—and this he did when he began to be man—life was to him everywhere, and being the same as being alive. Animism was the widespread expression of this stage, "hylozoism" one of its later conceptual forms. Soul flooded the whole of existence and encountered itself in all things. Bare matter, that is, truly inanimate, "dead" matter, was yet to be discovered—as indeed its concept, so familiar to us, is anything but obvious. (...) That the world is alive is really the most natural view, and largely supported by prima facie evi dence. On the terrestrial scene, in which experience is reared and contained, life abounds and occupies the whole foreground exposed to man's immediate view. The proportion of manifestly lifeless matter encountered in this primordial field is small, since most of what we now know to be inanimate is so intimately intertwined with the dynamics of life that it seems to share its nature. Earth, wind, and water—begetting, teeming, nurturing, destroying—are anything but models of "mere matter." Thus primitive panpsychism, in addition to answering powerful needs of the soul, was justified by rules of inference and verification within the available range of experience, continually confirmed as it was by the actual preponderance of life in the horizon of its earthly home. Indeed not before the Copernican revolution widened this horizon into the vastness of cosmic space was the proportional place of life in the scheme of things sufficiently dwarfed so that it became possible to disregard it for most of what henceforth was to be the content of the term "nature." But to early man, standing on his earth arched by the dome of its sky, it could never occur that life might be a side-issue in the universe, and not its pervading rule. His panvitalism was a perspective truth which only a change of perspective could eventually displace. Unquestioned and convincing at the beginning stands the experience of the omnipresence of life. (shrink)