Ethics and artificiality
Keywords:ethics, phenomenology, art of life, responsibility, animal testing
This essay interrogates the place of ethics, which needs to be located in philosophy alongside studies of being. Ethics is not an omniscient field of study: there is a room outside ethics, and yet there is ethics. The question here is: of what kind is this ethics? We cannot resort to nature in our search for an ethical stance. References to evolution or constraints of instrumental technology in themselves do not suffice to argue for ethical positions. Neither can we rely on extrahuman forces, such as theologicians and metaphysicians do in their ethical ruminations. Rather, we need to fully acknowledge our art of life. When we undertake a phenomenological study of our life as environment we study “how life lives”. Crucial to such an endeavour is a close observance of a highly complex form of responsibility: we need to fully face up to our failures and successes in order to fully grasp the sufferings brought on to other species through animal testing, or the questions posed by our encounter with AIDS. We need to be able to face death while we interrogate the possibility of life, love and love of life.
Baudrillard, Jean. Die fatalen Strategien [Fatal Strategies]. München/London: 1985/1999.
Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. Anti-Ödipus [Anti-Oedipus: capitalism and schizophrenia]. Frankfurt/Minneapolis: 1977/1983.
Heidegger, Martin. “Brief über den Humanismus” [“Letter on Humanism”]. In Wegmarken (Gesamtausgabe Bd. 6, Frankfurt am Main/ New York: 1976/1977.
Lyotard, Jean-Franc?ois. The Postmodern Condition: a report on knowledge. Minneapolis: 2010.
Postman, Neil. Amusing Ourselves to Death: public discourse in the age of show business. New York 1986/Frankfurt 1988.
Schirmacher, Wolfgang. “Bauen, Wohnen, Denken.” Philosophisches Jahrbuch 89, no. 2 (1982): 405-410.
Schirmacher, Wolfgang. “Homo Generator.” In Eingriffe in das Leben, edited by H.M. Gardner. Innsbruck: 1986.
Authors who submit manuscripts and publish with Inscriptions retain copyright to their original work and agree to the following terms:
- Inscriptions is granted the right to first publish the work under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise agreed in writing prior to publication;
- Inscriptions and its publisher Tankebanen forlag is granted the right to produce and reproduce the work in any form, printed or electronically, for free distribution and for sale;
- Authors are permitted to post their work online and to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal’s published version of their work as long as its initial publication in Inscriptions is acknowledged.