By Zygmunt Bauman
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Extra resources for Alone Again (Demos Papers)
Jonas sums up with an updated (though – as he is quick to admit himself – far from logically self-evident) version of 30 Demos This page is covered by the Demos open access licence. Some rights reserved. uk/openaccess Risk and Limits Kant’s categorical imperative: ‘act so that the effects of your action are compatible with the permanence of genuine human life’. If in doubt – Jonas implies – do not do it. Do not magnify or multiply the risk more than unavoidable; err, if at all, on the side of caution.
And yet we find this resource depleted and squeezed. This is not just the matter of concern for moral philosophers and preachers. However worried they may be, there is every reason for their worry to be widely shared. The dilemma we confront now has been expressed poignantly by the great German/American ethical philosopher, Hans Jonas: ‘The very same movement which put us in possession of the powers that have now to be regulated by norms… has by a necessary complementarity eroded the foundations from 28 Demos This page is covered by the Demos open access licence.
Far from it. The belief in bliss endemic to a life of consumption is anything but ‘trivially true’. What about uncertainty, insecurity, loneliness and the future being a site of fear instead of hope? What of never accumulating anything securely, 32 Demos This page is covered by the Demos open access licence. Some rights reserved. uk/openaccess New Ethics in Search of New Politics of being sure of nothing, of being never able to say with confidence ‘I have arrived’? What about seeing in the neighbourhood only a jungle to be warily and fearfully watched, in the stranger only a beast to hide from; what about the privatised prisons of burglar-proof homes?