The Phenomenon of Life: Toward a Philosophical Biology (Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy) (Paperback)
A classic of phenomenology and existentialism, The Phenomenon of Life sets forth a systematic and comprehensive philosophy—an existential interpretation of biological facts laid out in support of his claim that the mind is prefigured throughout organic existence. Hans Jonas shows how life-forms present themselves on an ascending scale of perception and freedom of action, a scale reaching its apex in a human being's capacity for thought and morally responsible behavior.
HANS JONAS (1903–1993) was a German Jew, pupil of Heidegger and Bultmann, lifelong friend and colleague of Hannah Arendt at the New School for Social Research, and one of the most prominent thinkers of his generation. The range of his topics never obscures their unifying thread: that our mortality is at the root of our moral responsibility to safeguard humanity's future. Mortality and Morality both consummates and demonstrates the basic thrust of Jonas's thought: the inseparability of ethics and metaphysics, the reality of values at the center of being.
"In his seminal 1966 study The Phenomenon of Life, Hans Jonas sketches out an itinerary for an entirely 'new reading' of the problem of the ontological configuration of organic life vis-à-vis the interpretations provided by both existentialist philosophy and contemporary biological science." —Environmental Philosophy