2022 年 71 巻 p. 189-201
The subject of this paper is to clarify the meaning of the concept of immortality in the ethical thought of Hans Jonas. Jonas is known for his work, The Imperative of Responsibility: In Search of an Ethics for the Technological Age（ Das Prinzip Verantwortung. Versuch einer Ethik für die technologische Zivilisation）, in which he founds the responsibility for future generations, but his problemsetting is already evident in the mythological thought discussed in The Phenomenon of Life: Toward a Philosophical Biology（Das Prinzip Leben. Ansätze zu einer philosphischen Biologie）, where the concept of immortality is discussed as a central issue in such mythological thought. However, in previous studies, the role of immortality in Jonas’s ethical thought has not always been sufficiently discussed. From this point of view, this paper aims to elucidate the conceptual function of immortality in explaining the responsibility to future generations, referring mainly to The Phenomenon of Life, and thereby provide a more systematic interpretation of Jonas’s ethical thought. In this paper, I will review previous studies on the concept of immortality to clarify the problem of this paper, and then confirm the background to the discussion of immortality in The Phenomenon of Life, where immortality is characterized as the temporality of determination. Then, I will reconstruct the mythology presented by Jonas to make such immortality comprehensible and clarify the conceptual link between immortality and responsibility derived from it. In conclusion, based on the above considerations, this paper will be shown that Jonas’s concept of immortality, as presented by his mythological thought, functions as a concept that explains resistance to oblivion in the foundation of responsibility to future generations.