Kant’s categorical imperative and Jahr’s bioethical imperative


  • Igor Eterović Department of Social Sciences and Medical Humanities, University of Rijeka - School of Medicine


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.