Death as a global annihilation of life in the perspective of Hans Jonas’s ethics of responsibility
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The phenomenon of death is an issue which was very frequent in philosophy. However, almost all reflections on this subject were usually from the anthropocentric perspective. In the cognitive horizon, for example, the issue of the essence of death was investigated, human helplessness was discussed in its face, models of existential attitude towards inevitability were constructed. This anthropocentric attitude changed only in the second half of the twentieth century in the result of the ecological crisis. From then on, in the philosophical debate, not only is discussed the death of a man but also death in the sense of total annihilation of life on Earth. According to the concept of global death, the passing ceases to be accidental. It loses connotations close to the metaphor of further life. It also ceases to be identical with the cosmic metamorphosis. Instead, it becomes a synonym of evil, which delivers the final blow to everything that lives in the biosphere. In this vision, one can grasp death cognitively and oppose its physical abandonment. Man, regarding global death, can remain a causative agent. One of the philosophical versions of stopping the invasion of death was proposed by Hans Jonas. He called his strategy the ethics of responsibility. Fear heuristics, new axiology and the ideal of human attitudes play a key role in it.
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