Kant’s categorical imperative and Jahr’s bioethical imperative
Keywords:categorical imperative, Immanuel Kant, Bioethical Imperative, Fritz Jahr
Immanuel Kant and Fritz Jahr have a similar cultural background, despite the almost two
century’s gap between their lifetimes. Th ey were both raised in protestant tradition and lived
their whole lives in towns with rich cultural heritage of the Prussian Kingdom.
In the light of these contextual circumstances, Jahr’s inspiration by Kant is not so surprising.
Jahr quotes Kant, but – what is more important – he takes terminology of Kant’s practical
philosophy in formulation of his own views. Th e most striking example is Jahr’s formulation
of his Bioethical Imperative which directly echoes Kant’s (ethical) categorical imperative.
Th ose two imperatives are compared and some points about possible challenges and perspectives
which Jahr’s views pose to Kant’s thought have been given.
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