, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 161-164
Date: 19 Jan 2010

Is Knowledge a Duty? Yes, It Is, and We Also Have to “Respect People As Things”, At Least in Our Technological World: Response to Bernd Carsten Stahl’s Review of Morality in a Technological World: Knowledge as Duty

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Yes, I strongly contend that knowledge is a duty and that we have to “respect people as things” and, after having read the review of my book Morality in a Technological World: Knowledge as Duty (Cambridge University Press 2007), where I explain that position (cf. Minds and Machines 19:2, 297–299), I am even more convinced that my claim (and so my suggestion) is good, when dealing with ethical problems in our era. Bernd Carsten Stahl, who positively illuminates my book from many perspectives (I thank him for his informed and intelligent attention and consideration), also says I have committed a “fundamental misunderstanding”. Turning the tables, however, I must say: you, Bernd, misunderstood me, as I shall explain.

Stahl begins his review by quoting from Jonathan Swift in the 18th century:

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roa ...