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Human Nature and Autonomy: Jürgen Habermas’ Critique of Liberal Eugenics

【Author in Chinese】 丹尼尔·C.亨利希计海庆

【Author】 Daniel C. Henrich;

【Institution】 德国美因茨古腾堡大学哲学系上海社会科学院哲学研究所

【Abstract in Chinese】 哈贝马斯对生命伦理学的探讨是否表明:应对优生学带来的伦理挑战,不能仅在义务论的解说下才可能,而是要求助于一种善生活的观念或者规范的人类学?哈贝马斯反对基因工程的论证如下:被基因修改的人的自主意识受到了损害,这导致了人类本质的物化。这一本质,又是作为人的伦理自我理解的可能条件。"物种伦理"的概念集中表达了哈贝马斯的上述论证,也清楚地表明了哈贝马斯对义务论伦理学路径的偏离。哈贝马斯反对异化决定论的论证可以有两种解读:较弱的版本和准先验的版本,这导致其"自主意识"概念的模棱两可。通过对比其早期思想,可以发现哈贝马斯论证中的一个问题,即"为什么(人)应是道德的",但他没有对此作答。哈贝马斯的著作中有两种不同的人类学观点,这或许有助于弥补其生命伦理论证中的人类学短板。

【Abstract】 This essay examines whether Habermas’ approach to bioethics implies that the ethical challenges of eugenics cannot be answered within the scope of a deontological account, but only with reference to a concept of the good life or a normative anthropology. First, Habermas’ "argument against alien determination" is elaborated, based on an action-theoretical concept of "human nature" which is analyzed in part three. Habermas’ main objection against genetic engineering, namely that it entails a reification of human nature by undermining the consciousness of autonomy of the genetically manipulated person, is also discussed. Subsequently, his concept of human nature as a condition of possibility of our ethics self-understanding, which is expressed in the phrase "ethics of the species", is introduced. It is argued that this term clearly indicates Habermas’ departure from the path of deontological ethics. Moreover, this essay asserts that two readings of the argument against alien determination are possible(a weak and a quasi-transcendental one) and that the expression "consciousness of autonomy" therefore remains ambiguous. The fourth part of the paper deals with the question whether or not the argument against alien determination is conditional on the assumption of genetic determinism. In part five, the author claims that in contrast to earlier conceptions, Habermas now implicitly raises the question "Why be moral?" and at the same time refuses to address it. The essay concludes with two different anthropological accounts that can be found in Habermas’ work and that might be helpful to correct the anthropological deficiency of his bioethical account.

  • 【CLC code】R-052
  • 【Downloads】259
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