The “Imperative of Responsibility” 40 years later

October 2, 2019 - October 3, 2019
Department of philosophy, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Av. Vicuña Mackenna, 4860

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Universidad Nacional de Educación A Distancia
The New School
Université paris 1
Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Brandeis University
Pontifical Catholic University of Chile


Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

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In The Imperative of Responsibility Hans Jonas rethinks the foundations of ethics in light of the awesome transformations wrought by modern technology: the threat of nuclear war, ecological ravage, genetic engineering, etc. Though informed by a deep reverence for human life, Jonas’s ethics is grounded in a doctrine that makes explicit man’s duties toward himself, his posterity, and the environment. Jonas offers an assessment of practical goals under present circumstances, ending with a critique of modern utopianism.

The colloquium is neither on Hans Jonas exclusively nor on the concept of responsibility in all its breadth.

Topics include (but are not limited to):

1. Responsibility and ethics of investigation

2. Responsibility and politics

3. Responsibility and ecology/environmental ethics

4. Responsibility and technology 

5. Responsibility and theology

6. The ontological foundation of responsibility

7. Responsibility and Utopia

The conference will run for two days, October, 2-3. Invited keynote presentations will be 45 min long, while contributed papers will be 30 min long (20 min paper + 10 min Q&A) for contributed papers. 

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