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On the Human Condition (Thinking in Action) Paperback – August 25, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0415327961 ISBN-10: 0415327962 Edition: New Ed

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Product Details

  • Series: Thinking in Action
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New Ed edition (August 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415327962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415327961
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

‘Dominique Janicaud was one of the French philosophers most attentive to contemporary realities and their origins, without ever forfeiting conceptual rigour.’ -Roger Pol-Droit, Le Monde

About the Author

At the time of his death in 2002, Dominique Janicaud was one of the leading philosophers in France. He taught at the University of Nice and wrote many books, including Heidegger en France and The Powers of the Rational.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Yehezkel Dror on May 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This concise book, well introduced by Simon Critchley, is unusual nowadays in its realistic evaluation of human beings as "capable of the worst as well as the best (p. 19). It focuses on the dangers posed by "scientific progress and the rise of technology", especially in "the ultra-sensitive domain of our genetic capital and our biological identity." It regards as realistic the danger of "sordid regression or even the invention of monsters never seen before" (p. 17), including "technological monsters, the results of systematic manipulation of the human species" (p. 22).
The book is also unusual in combining deep humanism with recognition that humanity cannot "avoid facing the problems of regulation, of control, indeed of prescription" in regard to the development and uses of science and technology (p. 4). Furthermore it recognizes that "from now on [classical humanism] will have to acknowledge that ethical concern cannot content itself with incantations, but must constantly bring itself up to date according to ...the growth in techno-scientific power" (p. 42) -- leading to the need to establish urgently a combination between "cautious humanism, warning against the inhuman or the subhuman, and an opening up to possible super-humans (p. 58, emphasis in original)
In some respects the author still is too sanguine, such as in discussing "evil for the sake of evil" (p. 20), but not taking up the prevalence throughout history of absolute evil believing that it is a paradigm of super-morality. Also, he blames "political-economic inducements, power struggles...powerful companies... and `techno-discourse' that sustains, accompanies and promotes technological innovations" (p.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. DeWitt on December 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Janicaud is first and foremost a great teacher. I would recommend his other books, especially the introductory book on philosophy to anyone interested in philosophy.

This book a wonderful introduction to what would be called "continental philosophy" and trends in the philosophy of technology. Janicaud is well versed in Nietzsche and Heidegger and his thinking seems to attempt to use these thinkers to guide his own philosophy. That being said, he does develop an ethics of sorts when dealing with the questions of technology. The question is how are we to remain human in the face of technology? With biotechnology and medicine becoming more and more advanced, Janicaud finds that it is the twin evils of the dangerous utopian vision of becoming the ubermensch (but the striving to improve ourselves must be maintained) and slipping back into being a mere monster that pose the greatest threat to humanity as we continue to embrace technology.

A great introduction for persons interested in the philosophy of technology.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Donovan, Editor/Sr. Reviewer on April 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
Joining others in the recommended 'Thinking in Action' easy philosophy set for young adult or college-level students is ON THE HUMAN CONDITION, a reflection of what makes or influences humanity today. Technology speaks much of a 'posthuman condition': while Janicaud talks of avoiding this, she also maintains conservative humanism is not the true reflection of a human condition either. The human condition is fragile and threatened - and its future must be discussed and shared with others, Janicaud argues.
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