How Do Ethics Play a Role in the Pursuit of Knowledge in the Field of Arts

How Do Ethics Play a Role in the Pursuit of Knowledge in the Field of Arts

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When we usually think of ethics, we consider the rules between right and wrong. Although most people acquire a sense of what is right and wrong during their childhood; moral development and reasoning occurs throughout a human’s life as they pass through the different stages of life. Most people are so aware of ethical norms that to a certain extent it has been considered common sense. On the contrary, if morality was nothing more than common sense, then why are there so many ethical disputes and issues in today’s society? This topic raises various knowledge issues in the fields of arts and natural sciences such as “To what extent do ethical considerations constrain the production of knowledge in natural sciences?” and “How far do ethics play a role in the pursuit of knowledge in the field of arts?” This essay will explore these two questions in detail along with the role of the three ways of knowing (emotion, perception and reasoning).
As a Biology student, the human anatomy has always fascinated me. Over the past few years I have followed the debate on the controversial human body showcase titled “Body World’s”. Gunther von Hagens the scientist/artist who created this art form indulges in a unique blend of science and art; he says “People have a right to see what we are beneath our skin”, where as many religious leaders and government officials have taken a stand that offend various cultures and religious beliefs. Nokuzola Mndende director of the Icamagu Institute, which promotes African traditional religion labeled it as “madness” and “That it’s totally against African culture.”
The Body Worlds exhibit has been touring the world for nearly 20 years now and feature a unique display of bodies and body parts that have ...


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...xperiments and thus preventing them from finding out the potential benefits.
Finally, the examples analyzed shows how ethics may or may not aid the pursuit of knowledge in natural sciences and the arts. In my opinion, ethics does prevent the production of knowledge. In the field of science although ethics is used just as a means to prevent accidents and disaster, it has prevented the production of knowledge by limiting the extent to which scientists can conduct experiments. However, when we look at the field of arts ethics is much more subjective. When viewing pieces of art while considering the ethics of its production, it changes from individual to individual depending on the social and cultural background of the person viewing the art piece. We can conclude that when reviewing an art piece for its ethics, one has to evaluate it based on aesthetic standards alone.

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