Discussing Ethical Judgments In The Production Of Knowledge In Both Arts And Sciences

2542 words - 10 pages

Ethical judgements limit the methods available in the production of knowledge in both the arts and the natural sciences. Discuss.

To a certain degree, ethics can be considered a matter of one’s heart, the source of emotional life, as well as their head, the center of a human being’s faculty of intellect and reasoning. Ethics, or moral philosophy, is a set of ideas that are systemized, defended, recommended in differentiating behaviour as either right or wrong prescribed by social and cultural taboos. It is divided into three categories: meta-ethics (way of determining truth through origin), normative ethics (arriving at moral standard regulating right and wrong) and applied ethics (how moral outcomes are accomplished in specific situations) 1. Such divisions often halt the advancement in knowledge within the arts and natural sciences. These morality-based restrictions directed towards the particular two areas of knowledge can be best understood with Sigmund Freud’s belief that the ethical parts of an individual’s unconsciousness controls majority of their behaviours in life reflects the collective unconscious mind of human beings . If it is human nature to be partially conscious of our whole identity, then this behaviour of ours largely limits us from attaining an extensive amount of knowledge that could more likely help us find the answers we are often searching for. The societal and individual ethics govern the methods and dimensions in distribution of knowledge in both arts and natural science, whether it is by means of excessive limitation of these areas of knowledge, unrestricted facilitation of their advancement, or limiting them in moderation. Nevertheless, this basic conclusion within the world of ethical judgements greatly relies on the distinction between the type of ethical dilemma one is in, the level of tension and intensity surrounding the dilemma, and the context the case facing the dilemma.

Firstly, the limitations ethical consideration put on the arts and sciences are primarily targeted on the application of knowledge rather than their methods of production. Similar to ethics, art is produced through personal choice, holding the initial purpose of imitating nature (Mimetic theory) while being used to express emotional ideal to trigger emotions of the targeted audience; however, it ceases to conform to a universal standard of which aspect clashes with the universal moral codes of ethics . Because of this persuasive ability in rendering emotion through artistry, many novelists, painters, poets, musicians, and filmmakers find themselves stuck in a net of confining their work with moral obligations set by the social norm of their time. For example, although being regarded timeless classic, Harper Lee’s fictional novel, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), has repeatedly been banned in public schools throughout the years for its racial content, use of derogatory language such as “nigger” and “damn”, and discussion of mature...

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