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Verantwortung/Verantwortlichkeit

(656 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[English Version] . Verantwortlichkeit (V.) ist der wesentliche Partizipationsmodus von Personen an Interaktion. Drei Aspekte sind konstitutiv: a) der Träger von V. (wer?), b) ihre Foren (vor wem?), c) ihre Inhalte (für was?). Jeder dieser drei Aspekte ist in sich selbst relational verfaßt: Träger sind selbsterschlossen, somit willensfrei (Willensfreiheit), in innerweltl. Entscheidungsgegenwart existierende Personen, die Foren sind bezogen auf Normen, die Inhalte sind gewählte oder zu wählende Bes…

Wirtschaftsethik

(1,607 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[English Version] I. Zur Geschichte Ethik als Reflexion des gelebten Ethos hat seit der Antike auch das Wirtschaften als essentiellen Teil des Ethos auf seine ethosgemäße Gestalt hin bedacht. Aristoteles beschränkt die Ökonomie auf die Sicherstellung der Autarkie des Hauses, von der er die Kaufmannskunst unterscheidet und, sofern sie mit Zinsgeschäften (Zins) Geld aus Geld erwirbt, verwirft (e.N., 1256 b 1–8). Die Bibel bietet v.a. im AT zahlreiche Regeln bzgl. der Unterstützung wirtschaftlich schwa…

Pränatale Diagnostik

(457 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[English Version] . P. ist wie Präimplantationsdiagnostik (PID) ein Inbegriff von Diagnoseverfahren zur Feststellung von Krankheiten (Krankheit und Heilung) vor der Geburt von Menschen, die sich jedoch im Unterschied zur PID nur auf eingenistete Embryonen (Föten) erstrecken. Sie umfassen: Ultraschalluntersuchungen, Amniozentese, Chorionzottendiagnostik: gelegentlich auch Nabelschnurpunktation, Embryo- bzw. Fetoskopie, Leberbiopsie oder Hautbiopsie am Fetus. Das zuerst genannte Verfahren gehört inz…

Souveränität

(852 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[English Version] . »S.« – nach antiken und ma. Vorläufern fixiert durch J. Bodin – ist nicht der Begriff eines Rechtstitels, sondern einer sozialen Wirklichkeit, nämlich derjenigen sozialen Wirkmacht, welche in dem von ihr beherrschten Gebiet ausreicht, einem Gemeinwesen Frieden nach außen und nach innen zu wahren. Ihr Begriff schließt erstens ihre eigentümliche Wirkweise ein: Das Anerkanntsein ihres Inhabers als Träger derjenigen Zwangsgewalt (vis), die erforderlich ist, um nach innen den von ih…

Präimplantationsdiagnostik

(470 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[English Version] (PID). PID ist der Inbegriff der Verfahren, mittels derer an einem in vitro erzeugten Embryo (Embryonen, Forschung an) vor seiner Implantation gewisse krankheitserzeugende Genveränderungen, grundsätzlich aber auch andere genetisch bedingte Eigenschaften, festgestellt werden können. Die Feststellung erfolgt durch Blastomerenbiopsie (molekulargenetische Untersuchung von Blastomeren, den Tochterzellen der Morula [Embryo im nach drei bis vier Tagen erreichten 16-Zellstadium]) oder al…

Standesethik

(219 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[English Version] ist die theoretische Beschäftigung mit dem Ethos einzelner Stände (Adel, Beamtenschaft, Bürger, Geistlichkeit; Stand) oder Berufsgruppen bzw. Professionen. In der nachständischen Gesellschaft hat S. in der ersten Bedeutung ihren Gegenstand fast völlig verloren. Übrig geblieben ist allenfalls das Ethos bestimmter Berufe bzw. Professionen; dies allerdings auch nur insoweit, als in der Bevölkerung noch bestimmte einheitliche Kernerwartungen an Haltung und Leistung solcher Gruppen le…

Sein/Sollen

(507 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[English Version] . In der ethischen Argumentationskultur wird heute noch weithin jeder Schluß von Seins- auf Sollensaussagen als »naturalistischer Trugschluß« (»naturalistic fallacy«) zurückgewiesen. Man sagt: Alle Gebotsinhalte (universale, allg. und den Einzelfall betreffende) können nur aus Prämissenmengen abgeleitet werden, deren maior wiederum eine Sollensaussage ist. Folge: Gebotsinhalte (Normen) und verbindliche Handlungsziele können nicht mehr naturrechtlich (aus der Natur der Sache herau…

Schaden

(393 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[English Version] bez. den Inbegriff aller Effekte von natürlichen oder sozialen Ereignissen, die im Gegensatz zum Nutzen menschliche Lebensmöglichkeiten nicht erhalten oder steigern, sondern mindern. Gegenstand der ethischen Betrachtung können nicht von der Natur (: IV.) verursachte Sch., sondern nur Sch. als Folgen von menschlichem Handeln sein. Die vorsätzliche Herbeiführung von Sch. durch Handeln ist grundsätzlich zu verwerfen, die leichtfertige zu tadeln. Aber kein Handeln ist völlig dagegen …

Verantwortungsethik

(416 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[English Version] . Sofern jede Ethik verantwortliches Handeln im Kontext eines Ethos reflektiert, ist sie V. und kann dabei unterschiedliche Aspekte des Verantwortlichseins (Verantwortung/Verantwortlichkeit) thematisieren. Erstens seine Konstitutionsbedingungen. Dabei geht es um die Frage, ob Verantwortlichkeit durch die Erfahrung des anderen geschaffen oder in dieser schon vorausgesetzt und nur aktualisiert wird. – Zweitens geht es um die Frage, wofür Verantwortung besteht und in Anspruch genomm…

Würde des Lebens

(355 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[English Version] . Gestiegene ökologische Sensibilität hat in den letzten Jahrzehnten des 20.Jh. dem selbst schon älteren (vgl. A. Schweitzers »Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben«) Gefühl zu weiter Verbreitung verholfen, daß nicht nur der Mensch, sondern alles Lebendige Würdeträger (Würde) sei, das den Menschen als Würdeadressaten einen die eigene Würde von allem Lebendigen würdigenden, sie anerkennenden und ihr entsprechenden Umgang zumutet. Im Vordergrund steht hier die Überwindung der exklusiven Einschrä…

Würde

(325 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[English Version] gibt das lat. »dignitas« wieder und bez. wie dieses ein Verhältnis, die Einheit eines Seins von a für b und eines Bestimmtseins von b durch a, nämlich: das Sein eines Trägers von W. für deren Adressaten und damit zugleich dessen Sein als bestimmt durch jenes Sein des Würdeträgers für ihn. – Drei Züge dieses Verhältnisses halten sich in allen seinen möglichen Variationen durch: 1. Als Würdeadressat kommen nur in Selbsterschlossenheit und Verantwortungsfähigkeit existierende Mensch…

Zwang

(291 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[English Version] (lat. coercitio) findet statt, wo einer Person gegen ihren erklärten Willen eine bestimmte Verhaltensweise unwiderstehlich aufgenötigt wird. Zwangsmittel sind der Inbegriff der Instrumente, die dafür zur Verfügung stehen. Die Verfügung über derartige Mittel ist für den Staat unverzichtbar, wenn er seine grundlegende Aufgabe der Friedenssicherung erfüllen können soll. Diese verlangt, der Rechtsordnung gerade auch denen gegenüber Nachachtung zu verschaffen, die deren Bestimmungen n…

Schöpfungsordnung

(858 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[English Version] I. Dogmatisch Die Christusoffenbarung (Offenbarung: V.) erschließt dem Glauben den Sinn und die Wahrheit von Jesu Lebenszeugnis für die menschliche Lebensgegenwart als Schöpfung im Prozeß der Realisierung ihrer Zielgestalt: der vollendeten Gottesherrschaft; damit zugleich das Persongeheimnis Jesu als des inkarnierten Schöpferlogos (Logos) und eben damit die Wahrheit über den im ewigen Gemeinschafts-, Versöhnungs- und Vollendungswillen des Schöpfers (Dogmatik: II.) begründeten Char…

Public Choice

(428 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[English Version] bez. das Themaproblem einer sozialethischen, genau: die Ethik des staatl. Handelns betreffende, Debatte, die sich seit den späten 50er Jahren in den USA entwickelte und seitdem auch Europa erreicht hat: Nach welchen ethisch begründeten Verfassungsprinzipien haben sich Umfang und Art der governementalen (rechtsförmigen und rechtswirksamen) Entscheidungen von Gerechtigkeitsfragen zu bemessen? Einen rein negativen Grundsatz empfiehlt Nozick: Grundsätzlich haben sich governementale E…

Self-control

(369 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] (Gk σωϕροσύvη/ sōphrosýnē, ἐγκράτεια/ enkráteia; Lat. temperantia, moderatio, continentia, imperium in semetipsum; Ger. Selbstbeherrschung; Fr. maitrise de soi) means mastery (Dominion) over oneself, exercised by the self. As in outward relationships between persons, rule or dominion means the effective control of an inferior will by a superior will within an individual’s personhood. With variations in terminology, self-control has been a theme of the theory of virtues in philosophy and theology, …

Servum arbitrium

(1,165 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Dogmatics M. Luther’s insight into the servum arbitrium (“unfree will”) is at the heart of his Reformation ontology of created personhood (Person). Its core content is recognition of the radically passive constitution of the conditions that make it possible and necessary (unavoidable) for an individual to will self-consciously and freely (Freedom: VII) – that is, rationally and responsibly – and to act accordingly. These conditions are (a) the “being affected” of the individual’s appetitus (being-out-for) by either the created world (as the apparent …

Two Kingdoms Doctrine

(2,873 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Dogmatics A discussion of the two kingdoms doctrine that wants to avoid mistakes must note two things. ¶ 1. The expression two kingdoms doctrine – like the doctrine of justification – is a product of reflection on the later designation of complexes of theological doctrine that were unavoidable even before this name was given them, because they deal with elements of the certainty of faith that are inescapable in any coherent explication of faith. The label two kingdoms doctrine, however, is not a product of the 16th century but of the debates in German Lut…

Dignity of Life

(435 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] The heightened sensitivity to ecological issues in the last decades of the 20th century led to the broad acceptance of the earlier expressed feeling (cf. A. Schweitzer's “reverence for life”) that not just human beings but all living things are endowed with dignity and, accordingly, that the human being (as a recipient of dignity) should respect his own dignity as a living being by recognizing and appropriately respecting the dignity of …

Rational Choice

(268 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] denotes a choice of behavior that leads to a chosen external target situation, better (more economically, more securely, with no, or fewer, unwanted side-effects) than other forms of behavior that could have been chosen at the same time. Such rationality of choice is related to the actor’s knowledge (of facts and rules), and to ethical convictions (e.g. excluding a goal attained by behavior that uses other persons only as means, not also as end in themselves [I. Kant]). Judgment o…

Sports

(735 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] Generally, the term sport can be understood to cover all manifestations of regulated, agonal, motor interaction that qualify as ludic (Play) and as such subserve corporeal self-awareness (prowess, body control, achievement [II; Contest], pleasure) and corporeal expression of the participants’ sense of self. Such phenomena have been present in all ages and all cultures, though with varying public impact. In pre-Christian antiquity, sport played a major public role (the classical Olympic Games from 776 bce to 393 ce [Olympia]), which shrank as Christianity b…

Action, Types of

(496 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] In his Philosophical Ethics, F.D.E. Schleiermacher distinguished between “symbolizing action” and “organizing action”; in his Christliche Sitte, he further distinguished “representative” and “effective” action, as well as “purgative” and “broadening action.” Habermas, in his recent Theory of Communicative Action, uses analogous language to indicate the difference between teleological, strategic, norm-based, dramaturgical, and communicative action. Both authors po…

Geismar, Eduard

(204 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] (Feb 12, 1871, Randers, Denmark – May 14, 1939, Copenhagen) served as a pastor in Copenhagen from 1899 until 1921, when he became professor of systematic theology. Sensitized by the Student Christian Movement and the Church's Urban Office for Social and Political Questions, he took an active part in founding Danmarks Retsforbund (Justice Party/Single-Tax Party), a party backing social reform. Influenced by S. Kierkegaard, he espoused an ethics of the individual conscience bound by…

Fontane, Theodor

(771 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] (Dec 30, 1819, Neu-Ruppin – Sep 20, 1898, Berlin). Fontane's parents were from Huguenot families. From 1850 he worked with the Literary Cabinet of the Prussian Ministry of the Interior, in 1852 and 1855–59 he was a correspondent in London, 1859–70 editor of the Kreuz-Zeitung, from 1871 theater critic of the Vossische Zeitung, from March to May 1876 secretary of the Prussian Academy (II, 3) of Arts, a position he voluntarily resigned. He then lived as a freelance writer. After initially being known as a poet, especially of ballads, …

Prenatal Diagnostics

(479 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] Like preimplantation diagnostics, prenatal diagnostics comprises procedures to diagnose diseases (Sickness and healing) before birth; unlike preimplantation diagnostics, however, it examines only implanted embryos (fetuses). The procedures ¶ employed include ultrasound, amniocentesis, and chorionic villi sampling; less commonly, umbilical cord puncture, embryoscopy, fetoscopy, and fetal liver or skin biopsy. Ultrasound has generally become a routine measure in medical pregnancy management. The stated purpose…

Brandström, Elsa

(93 words)

Author(s): Herms Eilert
[German Version] (Mar 26, 1888, daughter of the Swedish ambassador in St. Petersburg – Mar 4, 1948, Cambridge, MA) served in Siberia during World War I as a Red Cross delegate for German and Austrian prisoners of war. She worked there during the typhoid epidemic, organizing help efforts. After the war she founded sanatoria for former prisoners of war (Marienborn, Schreibermühle) and a home for war orphans (Neusorge/Mittweida) with American aid. Eilert Herms Bibliography E. Brandström, Unter Kriegsgefangenen in Rußland und Sibirien, 1921 E. Juhl et al., Elsa Brandström, 1962.

Morals

(937 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] The term “morals” designates all aspects of a rule-complying and thus relatively stabilized form of interaction that is founded on motivating and guiding certainties (or convictions) and, accordingly, on affective pursuits and interests with the fundamental decisions resulting therefrom. As such, it is equivalent to “ethos” (though emphasis on the individual may be stronger than in the social focus of “ethos”); there is a corresponding equivalence between “moral philosophy” and “e…

Self-interest

(343 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] The concept of “interest” in its civil and economic sense is rooted in Roman law (indemnification, benefit, advantage, value). Extended to include political action and its goals, in the 16th century it became a general designation of the motives governing the actions of competing individuals or collectives pursuing the goal of their own advantage. Finally (since T. Hobbes) it became the designation of the natural motivation of all possible action, with the goal of the actant’s self-preservation. Late Scholasticism and Christian moral philosophy questioned…

Sovereignty

(970 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] The term sovereignty – as defined by J. Bodin after antique and medieval precursors – does not denote a legal title but a social reality, the reality of an effective social power to preserve external and internal peace in the territory over which it holds sway, a “commonwealth.” The term itself implies its peculiar mode of operation: recognition of its bearer as possessing the coercive power ( vis) necessary to assure sufficient compliance internally with the laws it issues, to make appointments to office and vest them with authority, and also to…

Dogma

(2,847 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] is not an expression of faith or of ecclesial doctrine, but of theological reflection on these (as also e.g. “revelation”); the term is borrowed from the educated vocabulary of Hellenism. Its pre-Christian meanings are: (a) “opinion,” (b) “individual judgment,” “decision” or “resolution,” within a legal context also an “ordinance,” “edict,…

Is/Ought

(593 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] In the culture of ethical argumentation, every inference of an “ought”-statement from an “is”-statement is today still largely rejected as a “naturalistic fallacy.” The prevailing standpoint is that the contents of all imperatives (universal, general, or pertaining to individual cases) can only be inferred from sets of premises, the maior of which is in turn an “ought”-statement. Consequently, contents of imperatives (Norms) and ¶ binding goals of action can no longer be justified in reference to natural law (to the nature of the object), but …

Ritschl

(1,383 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] 1. Albrecht (Mar 25, 1822, Stettin – Mar 20, 1889, Göttingen). After studies in Bonn (1839–1841 under K.I. Nitzsch), Halle (1841–1843 under F.A.G. Tholuck, Julius Müller, J.E. Erdmann, and K. Schwarz), Ritschl gained his doctorate in Halle ( Expositio doctrinae Augustini de creatione mundi, peccato, gratia, 1843). He took his first examination in 1844, continued his studies in Heidelberg (1845 under R. Rothe) and Tübingen (1845/1846 under F.C. Baur, E. Zeller, A. Schwegler, and F.T. Vischer), gained his Habilitation in Bonn (1846; diss. on Marcion and the o…

Criteriology

(500 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] is the theory (the epitome of statements) of the necessary and sufficient conditions for the (given) presence of distinctions. We need a criteriology to carry out our praxis of distinction deliberately and responsibly – both for appropriate apprehension of distinctions already made (either through our own praxis or through processes for which we are not responsible), in other words, for our actions that construct symbols, and for our own appropri…

Goods, Assessment of

(401 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] The assessment of goods or benefits is often the last step in the formation of ethical judgments, as when the choice of a course of conduct cannot be derived from a general or specific directive for action. It is necessary when one of the available courses of action is not clearly preferable to others, whether because several appear equally preferable, a temporal sequencing of the goods to be achieved by them is impossible, so that other goods (Good) must be abandoned in favor of …

Preimplantation Diagnostics

(495 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] is an umbrella term covering the procedures used to examine an embryo (Embryo research) conceived in vitro before implantation, to detect certain pathogenic genetic mutations but also more generally to identify other genetically controlled characteristics. The identification is made by ¶ blastomere biopsy (application of molecular genetics to blastomeres, the daughter cells of the morula [embryo at the 16-cell stage, reached after three to four days]) or by blastocyst biopsy (application of molecular genetics to cells of…

Restriction

(349 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] Restrictions are those ongoing or momentary conditions imposed on human action that are given prior to a particular action and cannot be evaded in the choice of ends and actions but must be taken into account by any rational choice. Ongoing conditions consist in the total relational structure of personhood in the world (i.e. in the unity of the relationship of the author of an action to the world, to himself, and to the source of the relationship between relation to the world and relation to oneself). The ongoing and fu…

Consequence/Inherent Consequences of Actions

(588 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] Every action has inculculable inherent consequences, and even its actual consequences are only partially foreseeable. This is due to the fact that action originates from a presence of action within this world, whose restrictions govern the impact of its effects. By choosing one of several available present possibilities of further becoming, action transforms this possibility into the determination of the presence to act as one that has become. This determination is inherent in the action as its effect. The effects of an action are different in importance, …

Public Choice

(438 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] The expression public choice denotes the central theme of a debate concerning social ethics – or, more precisely, the ethics of government action. This debate has been carried on the United States since the late 1950s and has also reached Europe: What ethically grounded constitutional principles provide a criterion for the scope and nature of governmental legal decisions (formal and operative) in questions of justice? Nozick recommends a purely negative policy: government decisions s…

Creation, Order of

(1,032 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics I. Dogmatics The revelation (V) of Christ discloses to faith that the meaning and truth of Jesus' life for human life in the present is creation in the process of realizing its goal, the consummation of God's kingdom. At the same time, it discloses the mystery of Jesus' person as the incarnate Logos of the Creator and thus the true nature of his work, grounded in the Creator's eternal will for ¶ communion, reconciliation, and consummation (Dogmatics: II): the work of creation that provides human life in the present. Its purpose …

Adiaphora

(1,901 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Theology – III. Social Ethics The expression (Gk ἀδιάφορα semantic equivalents: intermediates, Gk μέση, mesē-, that which is permitted) designates phenomena of human life that are neither positive (good, bonum) nor negative (evil, malum) in the ethical realm (i.e. with regard to the attainment of human destiny). In the strict sense, then, adiaphora occur only in ethical systems whose guiding understanding of humani…

Metaethics

(628 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] The triumph of the sensualistic restriction of the recognizable and real to what exists in sensory perception – which was not hindered but actually encouraged by I. Kant's transcendental philosophy (contrary to its intention) owing to the fact that the latter also viewed sensory perception as a necessary prerequisite for many different types of true knowledge and thereby also excluded itself (i.e. its theory of the theoretical as well as its theory of practical reasoning, includin…

Professional Ethics

(247 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] the fformer theoretical concern with the ethos of individual classes or estates (nobility, officialdom, citizenry, clergy; estate cf. Ger. Standesethik) has given way to concern the ethos of certain vocations or professions; and this only to the extent that for such groups the general public still has certain basic expectations of behavior and performance, whose fulfillment is directly linked to the provision of professional services – for example, in the case of clergy, doctors and caregivers, admi…

Middle Axiom

(89 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] At the first plenary assembly of the World Council of Churches (Amsterdam, 1948), J.H. Oldham put forward the concept of a “responsible society” as a concrete goal to guide the churches' socioethical involvement in response to the social conditions of the day. He called this the “middle axiom.” The expression became common currency, in the sense of a “medium-range (socioethical) maxim: (II).” Eilert Herms Bibliography J.H. Oldham, “A Responsible Society,” in: The Church and the Disorder of Scoiety, publ. World Council of Churches, 1948, 120–154.

Dignity

(409 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] renders the Latin dignitas and, like it, refers to a relationship, the unity of the being of “a” for “b” and the determination of “b” by “a,” that is: the being of the one who has dignity for his addressee and, at the same time, the latter's being as determined by the being of the one who has dignity for him. Three elements of this relationsh…

Briefs, Goetz Anton

(240 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] (Jan 1, 1889, Eschweiler– May 16, 1974, Rome) was a sociologist and economist. Beginning in 1913, he taught at the Universities of Freiburg and Würzburg, beginning in 1926, at the Technical University of Berlin. He emigrated to the USA in 1934, was guest professor at the Catholic University in Washington DC until 1937, from them until 1962 (wh…

Economic Ethics

(1,931 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. History – II. Problems and Themes I. History As reflection on the lived ethos, ethics has since Antiquity also considered economic participation, as it touches on ethos, as an essential component of ethos. Aristotle restricted economy to securing household autarchy, from which commerce was distinct; and, insofar as it produced money from money in transactions involving interest, he rejected it ( Eth. Nic. 1256 b 1–8). The Bible, especially in the OT, gives numerous rules regarding the support …

Damage

(460 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] refers to the essence of all the effects of natural or social events that, in contrast to benefit, do not maintain or increase the possibilities of human life, but diminish them. The subject of ethical consideration cannot be damage caused by nature (IV), but only damage as the consequence of human action. The deliberate production of damage b…

Generation Contract

(1,108 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] In the broad sense, the generation contract entails every sort of responsible provision and consideration by one generation for the subsequent generations. Every generation is dependent on the acquisitions and savings of its predecessors and assumes the responsibility for the future well-being of its offspring through its own acquisitions and savings. This applies not only to assets, but also to forms of social life, educational and cultural background of whatever origin (both psy…

Ethics of Responsibility

(483 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] To the degree that any ethics reflects responsible action in the context of an ¶ ethos, it is an ethics of responsibility and can thus deal with various aspects of being responsible (Responsibility). First, its constitutive requirements. Here, it is a matter of whether responsibility is created through the experience of the other or is already presumed in it and …

Technological Ethics

(252 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] is the branch of ethics that examines the advantages and disadvantages of technological development and applications of technology. Its central themes are: compatibility of the application of certain technologies with human dignity, the preferability of competing possibilities of technological development, questions of justice in the distribution of benefits and burdens generated by a technology, compatibility with the common good, especially in the long term, and the preferabilit…

Highest Good

(2,585 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] Any understanding of “good” and “goods” is determined by an understanding of the highest good. 1 The so-called “good” is that which, as the perfection of the present, is experienced as attractive and thus as something to strive for (cf. Arist. Eth. Nic. 1094 a3, 1172b; Thomas Aquinas, In Metaphysicam Aristotelis commentaria, 1926, Liber IV, n. 317). Every present-action context defines the good in three configurations: (a) as a determination of the present-action context that has become world-immanent (the realized bonum); (b) as still outstanding possibiliti…
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