Ethics and artificiality
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.
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