• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Possession of Knowledge Carries an Ethical Responsibility (TOK essay)

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐TOK ESSAY ?The Possession of Knowledge Carries an Ethical Responsibility? Evaluate this claim. The topic presented examines ?the possession of knowledge? and on whether or not it presents an ?ethical responsibility?. The word ?possession? means the act of owning, or the ownership of something. By using this term, there is an underlying assumption that knowledge itself can be possessed. This essay will explore this assumption and the ethical responsibility attached to this assumption in relevance to three areas of knowledge: science, history and ethics. The prescribed title claims that we can possess knowledge. Is that a valid claim? To what extent do we own knowledge? One can argue that knowledge cannot be owned. Knowledge exists as an entity individual of the consciousness. Only through discovery does knowledge exist from our perception. Using this analysis, the ?possession? or ?ownership? of knowledge would only be temporary, as the knowledge exists separate from our being. To further explore the possession of knowledge, we must first examine the processing of knowledge through thinking. If knowledge exists as an entity separate from our consciousness and discovery is how we obtain it, we can then map out how knowledge travels. The first and initial step would be discovery. ...read more.

Middle

Even though Einstein never wanted ? even apposed his science being used for warfare ? he wanted peace. He at one point in time possessed the knowledge that would eventually lead to the making of atomic bombs and the death of a lot of people. Although he never intended harm, he has indirectly caused countless causality. Even with positive intentions, Einstein carries a certain amount of guilt for the deaths caused from the destruction caused by the atomic bombs. Using this example, we can conclude that sharing knowledge can potentially lead to harm. Using this conclusion, can we then state that we are justified to retain knowledge to ourselves? While sharing knowledge can be dangerous, as proven in the previous example, some may argue that retaining knowledge within out consciousness can be just as harmful. For example, we can look at the quest to discover ?El Dorado? or ?the Lost City of Gold? in New Spain. The native people in South America told the Spanish Conquistadors tales of a city filled with gold, but neglected to enlighten them with the knowledge of the location of the alleged riches. The tale captivated to interests of Europeans and caused mass migration from Europeans striving to discover such a city. ...read more.

Conclusion

This means that second-hand knowledge will always carry a biased opinion. Is it then unethical give up our possession of knowledge - to present information to another individual, knowing that our own biases will be interlaced with the raw data? To answer this question we can look further into the concept of knowledge itself. While sharing biased information from one individual to the next, each incorporating their own opinion into the raw information can be a dangerous process, the biases themselves are forms of new knowledge. If we relinquish our possession of knowledge, we also produce new knowledge in the form of personal interpretation. Therefore, when we give up our ownership of knowledge, we not only surrender the initial information acquired, but we also indirectly surrender information about ourselves to the listener. Using this analysis, we can then claim that the ethical responsibility attached to the possession of knowledge not only lies with the individual with the knowledge, but also to the individual receiving the knowledge. The possession and the relinquishment of knowledge carries a significant amount of ethical responsibility. When we obtain knowledge, we obtain power, and with power, we carry the burden of making a decision. It is our ethical responsibility to make an informed judgement on whether or not to relinquish our initial possession of knowledge. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. Free essay

    IB TOK essay

    Through experimentation and observation the scientist would formulate the theory that it is impossible. However, with millions of different arrangements he could never be absolutely certain that his theory is correct. The mathematician, on the other hand, could conclusively prove that every possible arrangement of dominoes will fail to cover

  2. TOK essay

    How would it be possible to reason if necessary observations of premises cannot be made; to hear authoritative accounts; have emotional sensations without touch? It is relevant to ask if it is at all possible to know the truth; when no ways of knowing are impenetrable to error.

  1. TOK essay

    Even though a new formula, made up by someone, may give the same result as the original, it is not always the best option or solution. In the Arts it is a different story. For example, in English, when looking at literature and poems there is a different type of knowledge one values.

  2. TOK Essay

    I disagree. Without a substantial amount of qualitative data, natural sciences become too detached for relevant human interpretation. Quantitative data is difficult to relate to "the real world" without the use of qualitative connections and classifications. Because human sciences encompass both qualitative and quantitative data as evidence, their findings are

  1. The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility. Discuss.

    This was then tested twice more just to be sure that the tests were coherent. The lead researcher conducted the primary test and his team and the results showed that homeopathy was possible. On the contrary, when a completely new team, who had no affiliation with the whole research project, conducted the experiment the results showed the opposite.

  2. Does the possession of knowledge carry an ethical responsibility?

    When he finally gained enough knowledge in creating the weapon, it can be argued that at that moment in time, he had an ethical responsibility to act upon his knowledge of the weapon. According to moral relativism, there are no definitive morals and values, and truly depend on the current situation.

  1. Does the possession of knowledge carry ethical responsibility?

    experience, since doing the right thing, or making the more ethically responsible decision is always the most beneficial, especially in a serious circumstance such as a car accident.

  2. Does the Possession of Knowledge Carry an Ethical Responsibility

    This was a personal matter that could have been handled privately, this knowledge did not and not and should not have been publicized for the whole world to see and develop new thoughts of what American baseball is. It just represents a bunch of men who would do whatever it

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work