Moralna odpowiedzialność uczonych za ludzi biednych


  • Piotr Kostyło Instytut Pedagogiki UKW w Bydgoszczy

Słowa kluczowe:

men of knowledge, the poor, moral responsibility, searching for the truth, social inequalities, undesired consequences of scientific work, men of knowledge’s consciousness


In this article the author argues that men of knowledge are morally responsible for the poor. Their responsibility stems from the fact that scientific activities contribute to deepening social inequalities. Traditionally, men of knowledge have been held responsible for searching for the truth and for abstaining from scientific enterprises that may deteriorate or even destroy natural environment. In the author’s view these two levels of responsibility must be supplemented by the third one. The argument put forward by the author is based on the following syllogism: 1) one of the results of scientific work is that symbolic culture in which we live becomes more and more complex; 2) the more complex that culture becomes, the more difficult the lives of the poor are; 3) men of knowledge are responsible for the poor in so far as they contribute to making contemporary culture more complex. Referring to Ivan Illich’s ideas, the author expresses doubts whether men of knowledge, in account of the poor, will ever stop their research. On the contrary, numerous social and emotional gratifications will always push them towards achieving new academic goals. However, the author believes that men of knowledge may be more conscious about undesired consequences of their enterprises and may be more sympathetic towards the condition of the poor.