By Jan Patocka
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Extra resources for Body, Community, Language, World
Ultimately, however, they recognize that this optimistic-ethical world view is a hypothesis that lacks any real certainty, and they are clear in their affirmation of their ethical position even if the hypothesis should have to be abandoned. “With these sentences there is announced from afar the disappearance of the optimistic-ethical interpretation of the world” (Ibid, 258). And with this the stage is set for Schweitzer’s own ethics. SCHWEITZER’S LIFE-PHILOSOPHY: REVERENCE FOR LIFE AS THE RATIONAL MYSTICISM OF REALITY As I have already shown, Schweitzer abandons any attempt to ground ethics in an optimistic-ethical interpretation of the world: life view [Lebensanschauung] is no longer to be rooted in world view [Weltanschauung]; volition is no longer to be guided by pure knowledge.
Note that in such an approach, intervention and control are pervasive. But more importantly, the fact that such isolation would rob wild animals of their wildness, effectively putting a stop to natural evolution and immediately leading to a genetic decline in animal populations, is enough to show that the fundamental attitude at work here is one of enmity or at least opposition to the very process of life itself. As J. Baird Callicott has argued, “the value commitments of the humane movement seem at bottom to betray a world-denying or rather a life-loathing philosophy.
7 For Kant, this shows that those beings to whom I must justify my actions—to whom I am responsible in the sense specified—have a different status than that of beings with whom I cannot jointly consider moral justification. Rational beings thus have “absolute worth” in a very specific sense. To have absolute worth is to be a being to whom I am responsible, again in the specified sense, because that being is rational (a “person”), because that person can ask whether an action someone wants to do is morally acceptable.
Body, Community, Language, World by Jan Patocka