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dc.contributor.authorTiarsmith, Anthony Jared
dc.description.abstractThis project begins with the assumption that modern technology has radically increased the scope and impact of human action. Since ethics concerns itself with human action, an increased scope in human action must be met by an increased scope of ethics—our ethical principles must be able to prescribe legitimate conduct in the new spheres of action opened to us by modern technology. In this project we focus on one particular challenge that faces ethics in this technological age. Specifically, we begin with the recognition that it is now conceivable that the cumulative impacts of the collective use of modern technology could undercut the continued existence of humanity. In the face of this possibility, we must ask whether we are obligated to ensure the continued existence of humanity—this question forms the primary guiding strand for this project. In an attempt to answer this question, we critically examine Hans Jonas’ attempt to demonstrate that “humanity ought to be,” from his pioneering work The Imperative of Responsibility. We argue that while Jonas’ argument is ultimately untenable, it is possible to overcome some of the challenges that face his account and demonstrate that we are obligated to ensure the continued existence of humanity. Next, we investigate the nature of our obligation to ensure the continued existence of humanity—in what ways is this obligation different from more familiar obligations? Finally, we investigate the practical economic and political implications of affirming our obligation to ensure the continued existence of humanity.
dc.subjectHans Jonas
dc.subjectImperative of Responsibility, ethics, technology
dc.titleOn the outcry of mute things
dc.title.alternativeHans Jonas and The imperative of responsibility
dc.description.advisorRichard Winfield
dc.description.committeeRichard Winfield
dc.description.committeePiers Stephens
dc.description.committeeElizabeth Brient

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