The Production of Knowledge in both the Arts and the Natural Sciences

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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...

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...neral approach to ethics will consider creating the greatest good and the least harm. Although subject to change in different cultures, the societal norm of placing an ethical code helps us to set the “right” amount of boundaries on areas of knowledge including the arts and the natural sciences. Like I said before, there are many complications to this as both scientists and artists are put in situations where they must face the fine line between having a scientific/artistic role or ethical role in creating opportunities for knowledge.

Works Cited

McKie, Robin. "The Ethics of Animal Tests: Inside the Lab Where Marmosets Are given Parkinson's." The Observer. Guardian News and Media, 13 Oct. 2013. Web. 9 Feb. 2014.
Rojas December 28, Rick. "Claremont Church Nativity Scene Replaces Jesus with Trayvon Martin." Los Angeles Times. N.p., 28 Dec. 2013. Web. 10 Feb. 2014.
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