- 医学哲学 医学倫理 (ISSN:02896427)
- vol.24, pp.21-30, 2006-10-24 (Released:2018-02-01)
The German philosopher Juergen Habermas, who emphasizes the significance of communicative rationality in constructing social theories, has recently made active proposals in bioethics. To the extent that he insists on duties analogous to moral ones with regard to the moral status of animals, he remains in step with the opinions of some English-speaking ethical theorists. Indeed his acceptance of communications between men and other animals is consistent in part with the position of Peter Singer, who represents such opinions and objects to differentiating between humans and animals with reference to moral duties. However, Habermas fears that valuing various lives only for their sensible capacities, regardless of special differences, might result in assignment of priority to the lives of healthy higher animals over those of handicapped babies, and therefore maintains that we are after all different from the other animals in moral status. This conclusion by Habermas is built on the philosophical edifice of Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, the author of the Dialectic of enlightenment, in accordance with the idea that we should not instrumentalize the living activities of humen beings. This is why he insists that research in reproductive medicine should be carefully considered. Accordingly, his attitude toward bioethics results in a kind of anthropocentrism, though we must not overlook the need for expansion of communicative relasions between humans and other animal species. The opinions of Habermas on bioethics have affected the ethics of nature, as outlined by Angelika Krebs and Martin Seel under the influence of Frankfurt School in the contemporary Germany.