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 ‘non-drastic’ 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.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1017/epi.2013.16
Journal Episteme
Citation
Matheson, D. (2013). A duty of ignorance. Episteme, 10(2), 193–205. doi:10.1017/epi.2013.16