Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Education and ethics often walk hand in hand, perhaps never more so than today. This article, as the title suggests, considers the argument that we have a moral responsibility to educate ourselves (or to become educated). There are issues, which author Solmu Anttila documents. Is there even such a thing as moral responsibility? If so, what does epistemic responsibility look like? Are we responsible for beliefs influenced by external agents, like teachers and social media algorithms? Are we morally required to change our beliefs under certain conditions? When I refuse to accept that Pluto is not a planet, am I somehow morally wrong? Does it even help to assign moral responsibility for false beliefs? "Rhetorics of blame in public discussion of social problems … usually produce defensiveness and unproductive blame-switching." And is it even possible to avoid wrong beliefs? Perhaps, as Anttila says, "the burden should be shifted to those who have structural control over our information environments.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Jun 15, 2022 08:33 a.m.