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bonnallianceICB lecture series – Forty years after the “Imperative of Responsibility” Ethics of Technology Choice in Times of Eroding Planetary Boundaries
25. April 2019 - 11. December 2019
The first bonnallianceICB Lecture Series “Forty years after the “Imperative of Responsibility” Ethics of Technology Choice in Times of Eroding Planetary Boundaries” took place from April, 25 until December, 11 (8 lectures), organized by Dr. Andreas Stamm, German Devleopment Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Forty years ago, Hans Jonas’ main work “The Imperative of Responsibility” (German original: “Das Prinzip Verantwortung”) was first published. Starting from the perspective of moral theory, he develops fundamental thought on a responsible approach to deal with new technologies, and especially “disruptive innovations”, as one would put it today. His work is driven technological progress which has amplified the reach of human action to a degree that calls for a new philosophy of responsibility. With technological progress, actions brought about at a singular point in space and time may have far-reaching or even global consequences.
40 years have passed. Since 1979, the number of people living on the globe has increased by 3 billion and the percentage of absolutely poor people decreased from 40% to 10%. Planetary boundaries are being transgressed not (only) by single catastrophic events in a novel technological system, but (also) by the progressive erosion of ecosystems – in order to satisfy the needs of a growing and increasingly well-off world population. Technologies and innovations play a crucial role in this new global setup. Do we need a new “ethics of responsibility”, new approaches to radical innovations, maybe combined with novel modes of technological impact assessment and foresights?