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Introduction to Green Chemistry

Lesson Nine: Deeper Insights into Sustainability Ethics

Overview

IGS green earth The chemical enterprise is a powerful example of how the development of modern technologies require us to radically shift our traditional view of ethics. Hans Jonas' Imperative of Responsibility argues that we can no longer assume that if we cause no harm to ourselves that we spare harming others in the world at large, and others who will live in the future. Technologies, including chemical technologies, have become that powerful. This lesson draws heavily on Jonas' thinking to argue that the practice of a new kind of human ethics, and the practice of green chemistry are inseparable.