Ethical Judgements in the Arts and Sciences Essay

Ethical Judgements in the Arts and Sciences Essay

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Both the arts and the sciences have completely different methods to create knowledge, thus the effects ethical judgments have on the arts and the science are different. Ethics limits the production of knowledge in both the arts and natural sciences, however, in the arts ethical judgments do not limit the methods available in the production of knowledge, rather it limits the propagation of knowledge. On the other hand, ethical judgements do limit the methods available in the production of knowledge in the natural sciences, because ethical judgments are self regulated in the natural sciences by reason because of the role of ethics in the methods.
An ethical judgment will be defined as an active condemnation on the grounds of ethics/morality. The difference between ethical judgments in the arts and the natural sciences is that ethical judgments in the arts are mostly based on emotions and in the natural sciences it’s mostly based on reason. A theory about the purpose of art is that “the arts are a way of expressing emotion” (Alchin). The art triggers emotion in the audience, so, if a painting shows a person crying over her dead baby and tries to eat it so she could get over it, the audience may experience a wave of emotions: sad, repulsed and disgusted. This may make the audience to feel that the painting is unethical, thus the painting might be removed. On the other hand, in the natural sciences, scientists are likely to use reason and decide whether experimenting something or about it would be ethically correct. If the scientist has to choose between experimenting on humans or rats, the scientist, using inductive reasoning, would choose to experiment on the rat, as it is more ethical than the former. The difference between both pro...


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...ieves that the knowledge is contributing to society. The scientist’s own drive to obtain knowledge versus the society’s need to obtain knowledge differ in the degree of limitations since the society’s moral judgments have more limiting factors on the methods to create the knowledge society demands rather than the artistic or scientific drive to obtain that knowledge.
Ethical judgments made by society may prevent some arts from being exposed, preventing a private knowledge from becoming public, however, ethical judgments may prevent natural scientists from obtaining that private knowledge on itself, by limiting what and how something gets studied. And this raises a question: how much more knowledge could we have now if ethical judgments did not prevent the arts and natural sciences from creating or exposing knowledge, and how much harm could that have brought to us?

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