The Possession of Knowledge Carries an Ethical Responsibility

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The Possession of Knowledge Carries an Ethical Responsibility

By | December 2012
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INTRODUCTION
“The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility” evaluate this claim  1-2

Knowledge can be a justified as a true belief, factual information or skills aquired, as stated by the Oxford dictionary: “facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject”.1 It can also refer to the knowledge of human nature, perception and reason are ways of knowing which we use in our everyday life, making knowledge also the“awareness  or  familiarity  gained  by  experience  of  a  fact  or  situation”.2 Therefore what is actually knowledge? The word originates fom the old English verb gecnawan, cnāwan, which today translates to the word know and the auxiliary can.3 Consequently, the verb 'acknowledge' implies a state of aknowledgment and apprhension, together with an ability to act, which leads to the idea of a process. The latin cognosco (to conciously know) recalls the dinamic and construstive aspect of aknowledging something, an accumulation of information.4 Furthermore in 1200, knowledge was even refered to as information one confesses to possess, admitting and recognizing to have aquired knowledge. From the verb however implies a state of action which could both refer to the active apprhension of the knoweldge itself and at the same time, the power to act which is attributed to the knower.

The concept of responsibility instead refers to “the  state  or  fact  of  having  a  duty,  having  control  over someone or being accountable or to blame  for  something”.5 Deriving from the 1590s answerable (to another, for something) and the Latin responsus (to respond), the root word holds the sense of obligation which led to the meaning attested in 1836 of “morally accountable for one's actions”.6 Therefore, responsability is a condition of being responsible for something. Ethics instead are defined as:“the  moral  correctness  of  specified  conduct”.7 Ethics, deriving from the...