Hans Jonas’ integrative philosophy of life as a foothold for integrative bioethics


  • Hrvoje Jurić Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb


Hans Jonas, integrative bioethics, life, nature, human, responsibility, philosophy, ethics, biology, theology


European approach to bioethical problems emphasizes, among others, a need for the widened

and deepened consideration of the very notion of life, which should be taken in account

when speaking about ethical dimensions of manipulation with the life at diff erent levels. Th is

tendency could be traced in the works of Fritz Jahr, Albert Schweitzer, Georg Picht, Klaus Michael

Meyer-Abich and especially Hans Jonas (1903–1993). In that sense, we should take into

consideration not only Jonas’ ethics of responsibility, developed in the late phase of his life, but

also his long-term research of Gnostic religion and thought, as well as his attempt to establish the

philosophical biology as a new philosophy of the human, nature and life. Jonas developed the

integrative philosophy of life in which centre stands ethically connotated philosophy of nature,

based both on the results of contemporary natural sciences and theological speculations. It

shows us clearly what pluriperspectivity and integrativity in bioethics actually mean, because

it is far from any reductionism and tries to include diff erent scientifi c and non-scientifi c perspectives,

off ering at the same time a platform for their dialogical mediation.