Knowledge & Moral Motivation: Getting Closer

What should our work be, here and now, as producers of knowledge? Can intellectual or academic conversations really help us figure out how to make a better world, how to be better people? Can ethics? Political theory? Can science? What does it mean to engage in the activity of knowledge production with integrity? And can philosophy itself help us answer these questions?

Most traditional philosophical views assume the relationship between knowledge and responsibility to be straightforward. When we know of a clear causal connection between our choices and harm to others, there is a direct, self-evident duty to alleviate that harm and to refrain from causing further harm. Utilitarians, deontologists, and virtue theorists agree: rationality demands that, if we want to do the right thing, and there is not much of significance competing for our attention, the right action will be obvious and attractive. In the idea

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