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Ambiente & Sociedade

Print version ISSN 1414-753XOn-line version ISSN 1809-4422


BRUSEKE, Franz Josef. Ethics and technology? Dialoguing with Marx, Spengler, Jünger, Heidegger and Jonas. Ambient. soc. [online]. 2005, vol.8, n.2, pp.37-52. ISSN 1414-753X.

The nineteenth century took technology as a central element of historical progress, but the perspective occurred to change during the first decades of the twentieth century. The criticism of technology formulated between the two world wars period in the stream of culture criticism, emblematically in Spengler's work, does not confront ethics and technology. By that time of interludium bellicum (1918-1939), there was a comprehension of technology rid of any metaphysical and artistic dimension on the one hand, and, on the other hand, technology was recharged with a redeemer, utopian or heroic promise, despite totally absorbed by a materialistic conception of the world, conceived as a battle ground (Ernst Jünger). Martin Heidegger elaborated, at the end of the thirties and middle forties, in a getaway move from the intellectual scene, the basis for a repercussive philosophy of technology. One of his pupils, Hans Jonas, originally tries, but not rid of mistakes, to show us an ethics meant to be valid for a technological civilization. According to Jonas, the human situation and the context of any ethical purpose would be, nowadays, fundamentally changed; a traditional ethics is not up to the mark. The modern technology introduced new objects and processes with unknown consequences for the human society, in a way that would require an adaptation of ethics (and consequently of human action) to technological challenges. The "neighbor ethics" would be valid, though, in the "neighborhood"; but the future of humanity in its global habitat would claim an "ethics of responsibility".

Keywords : Technics; Technology; Ethics.

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