Month/Year of Graduation
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Information hazards are risks posed by potentially harmful true information. Information hazards include the risks posed by instructions on how to make a bomb, facts about world events which could cause harmful political unrest, or even the password to an email account being revealed. I will examine and explain one specific type of information hazard which can be seen as the subject of discussion in three well-known but disparate philosophical texts: information which draws attention away from individual control. I will argue that this idea shows up in Plato as what is being avoided through noble falsehoods in The Republic, in Nietzsche’s concept of slave morality in The Genealogy of Morals, and in Lacan’s account of desire as a primary motivator of action, as well as something we can only have if we do not know what we want. In each of these examples, greater access to information leads people to believe they lack control of their lives. This is a problem because modern psychological research indicates that a belief that you don’t have control over your life makes people less happy and less capable of self-control.
Porter, Alexander, "When Knowing Prevents Doing: An Exposition on Commitment Hazards" (2022). Theses/Capstones/Creative Projects. 187.
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