The Phenomenon of Life: Toward a Philosophical Biology

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Northwestern University Press, 2001 - Philosophy - 303 pages
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.
 

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User Review  - unclecharny - LibraryThing

So far this book has been too much work for what its worth. Jonas is very often repetitive without much corresponding increase in clarity, insight, and, or information. The writing is needlessly dense, probably even considering that it is German translated to English. Read full review

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Hans Jonas' 'The Phenomenon of Life' is a profoundly insightful and brilliant analysis and theory of the nature of life at all levels of its organization and across all species. I highly recommend this book. Especially its chapters on the nature of life as a natural phenomenon. Jonas' writings on Gnosticism, is also brilliant and show clearly its anticipation of modern existentialism. I believe that all who read this book will walk away enlightened and amazed.  

Contents

First Essay Life Death and the Body in the Theory of Being
7
Second Essay Philosophical Aspects of Darwinism
38
Third Essay Is God a Mathematician? The Meaning
64
On the Animal Soul
99
A Critique
108
A Study in the
135
Seventh Essay Imagemaking and the Freedom of Man
157
Transition From Philosophy of the Organism to the
183
Ninth Essay Gnosticism Existentialism and Nihilism
211
Tenth Essay Heidegger and Theology
235
Eleventh Essay Immortality and the Modern Temper
262
Epilogue Nature and Ethics
282
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\Department of Philosophy Connecticut College 270 Mohegan Ave. New London, CT 06320 ---- Eleonore Jonas 9 Meadow Lane New Rochelle, Ny 10805

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