A duty of ignorance

Episteme 10 (2):193-205 (2013)
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Conjoined with the claim that there is a moral right to privacy, each of the major contemporary accounts of privacy implies a duty of ignorance for those against whom the right is held. In this paper I consider and respond to a compelling argument that challenges these accounts (or the claim about a right to privacy) in the light of this implication. A crucial premise of the argument is that we cannot ever be morally obligated to become ignorant of information we currently know. The plausibility of this premise, I suggest, derives from the thought that there are no epistemically ways in which we can cause ourselves to become ignorant of what we already know. Drawing on some recent work in the epistemology and psychology of self-deception and forgetting, I seek to undermine this thought, and thus provide a defense against the challenging argument, by arguing that there are indeed such ways



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David Matheson
Carleton University

Citations of this work

Memory.Kourken Michaelian & John Sutton - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Inferences and the Right to Privacy.Jakob Mainz - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-19.
On the Blameworthiness of Forgetting.Sven Bernecker - 2018 - In Dorothea Debus Kourken Michaelian (ed.), New Directions in the Philosophy of Memory. London: Routledge. pp. 241-258.
Justified Evidence Resistance.Sven Bernecker - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-12.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
The right to privacy.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1975 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 4 (4):295-314.

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