Topic 3. Knowledge and ethical responsibility

Does knowledge carry an ethical responsibility?

Keywords

Knowledge, ethical responsibility, evaluate

The questions asks you to evaluate the statement, which means that you have to explore to what extent the statement can be regarded to be true given different interpretations of ‘knowledge’ and ‘ethical responsibility’. You should also evaluate the statement in the contexts of ways of knowing and areas of knowledge.  


Knowledge issues

The quote assumes that possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility i.e. that simply knowing something makes you ethically responsible. Ethical responsibility refers to the idea that you should do something to correct a harmful situation or prevent harm from happening. The object of harm may be you, other people, animals or aspects of the environment.
 
Some knowledge issues/questions:

  • Why should knowing something lead to ethical responsibility? Would not ethical responsibility be rather created by what the knower does with knowledge...
Topic 3 TOK Guide reviewed by David Roberts on Jan 15 2013 Rating: 5