Paper Information

Journal:   KNOWLEDGE (JOURNAL OF HUMAN SCIENCES)   FALL 2009-WINTER 2010 , Volume - , Number 61/1; Page(s) 121 To 146.
 
Paper: 

THE PRINCIPLE OF PRECAUTION AS A SIGN OF THE MENTALITY AND NEEDS OF POSTMODERN MAN

 
 
Author(s):  NEUVE EGLISE A.*
 
* 
 
Abstract: 

The principle of precaution has arisen in a western context of scientific and technological advances coupled with the emergence of new dangers, particularly in the realm of the environment, genetics and public health. This new context revealed the existence of a contradiction in postmodern occidental societies: an enduring and ceaseless thirst for progress, and at the same time, a rejection of its negative outcomes. Even though the principle of precaution was originally only a philosophical principle, the striving to reconcile these two contradictory wishes converted it into a political and legal principle used to palliate the possible human and environmental negative effects of an invention or of the practical application of a scientific discovery.
This principle reveals some important features of today’s western societies as well as the mentality of postmodern man as a narcissistic, consuming and individualistic being. This article deals with the most important bases of this principle i.e. its specific vision of the world and epistemology, as well as its social and political consequences, notably its influence in the redefinition of the role of the state and its progressive de-ideologization.

 
Keyword(s): PRINCIPLE OF PRECAUTION, CONCEPT OF RISK AND DANGER, POSTMODERN MAN, NARCISSISM, DE-IDEOLOGIZATION
 
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