Epilogue: Can there be Universal Principles of Circumspective Concern towards our Natural Environment?

  • Carl Friedrich Gethmann
Part of the Wissenschaftsethik und Technikfolgenbeurteilung book series (ETHICSSCI, volume 19)


The volume under review is an impressive illustration of the different ways in which human beings approach and interpret their relationship towards nature. Accordingly, whether from the diachronic or from the synchronic point of view, it is difficult to gain an overview of and to establish even a half-way applicable order in the diverse plurality of understanding in regard to nature and, based on this, in the different ways in which human beings treat their natural environment — and even then only by applying rigorous classification. Experiencing the plurality of attitudes to modes of action and to interpretations has an enlightening function. It is a safeguard against hasty self-certitude and a hence resulting pragmatic dogmatism. It was precisely the very mission of this volume to create this experience of plurality in order to shake the foundations of an unjustified certitude with regard to the western-world’s understanding of nature. It is, indeed, striking that to this very day, on the basis of the same presumptuous self-certitude with which, since the 16th century, western technical civilisation has endeavoured to impose its exploitive understanding of nature on other cultures, it is again attempting in the present day to impose the status of its own learning process with regard to a circumspective concern towards nature as the sole, universally valid interpretation. However, this can not be accepted as valid without further ado for the simple reason that the enlightened relationship towards nature that is now gradually beginning to more or less assert itself in western, industrialised societies is already the reaction to an earlier relationship that could neither fundamentally nor actually lay claim to universality.


Human Person Universal Principle Moral Discourse Technical Installation German Civil Code 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carl Friedrich Gethmann

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations