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Ethical Judgements Limit The Methods Available In The Production Of Knowledge In Both The Arts And The Natural Sciences. Discuss.

1382 words - 6 pages

Production of knowledge is generally seen in a positive light. However, when ethics and morality become involved in the process of production, judgements will undoubtedly be made that may seem to limit the availability of that knowledge. Ethical judgements are made by the combination of a knower, his or her standard of value, and the situation itself. In the field of the arts and natural sciences, ethics plays a crucial role in the extent one may possibly be allowed to go to when discovering new knowledge. Reason and emotion are important ways of knowing that help guide knowers in making certain moral decisions. Both ways of knowing can be associated with teleological or deontological arguments; the ethics are based on either an objectives-focused or obligations-focused mindset. In this essay, I will be discussing the limitations set on both the arts and the natural sciences as areas of knowledge. To what extent do ethical implications hinder the way art can be produced or the methods involved in expanding society’s knowledge of science?
To begin with, what is the definition of art? Art can be anything that expresses something, embodies artistic or aesthetic intention, or demonstrates creative choice. Based on this creator-centric definition, one may claim that art is purely a form of individual expression, and therefore creation of art should not be hindered by ethical consideration. Tattoos as pieces of artwork offer a great example to this issue. However, one may take it from the viewer’s perspective and claim that because art heavily involves emotion and the response of a community after viewing it, the message behind what is being presented is what should actually be judged. To what extent do ethical judgements limit the way the arts are created? In this case, the tattoo artist would have the ability to make an ethical judgement on the request given by the client. If the client requested symbols of racial slurs such as swastikas and Klu Klux Klan logos, many implications would arise. Moral decisions involve the knowledge and responsibility of likely outcomes, such as the possible outcome of an angered emotional effect a swastika tattoo may have on someone who was affected by the brutal acts of the Nazi party. As the creator of art, the tattoo artist would be in the position of questioning whether he or she has consistency with the best that he or she can be, balance of the good over the bad, and acknowledgment of the ramifications that may affect society as a whole.
Reason and emotion have immense influences on how we know what constitutes being able to compromise ethics in order to produce useful knowledge. These ways of knowing raise the question of whether someone’s opinion should have the power to control art that communicates an intentional public message. During Christmas season of 2013, Claremont United Methodist Church and artist John Zachary set up a Nativity scene on their lawn, like most churches do during this time of year....

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