ABOUT ownership of knowledge
Logical relations are the most basic and most overlooked phenomenon we
know. Nothing of which we can talk rationally can exist, can be identified
or referred to, except through its logical relations to other things.
Logic is necessary relations between different factors, and factors are
what exist by the force of those relations. The decisive thing about logical
relations is that they can not be reasoned. Nevertheless, they do constitute
conditions necessary for any description, because they can not be denied
without rejecting the factors of the relations. Persons are, for example,
totally different from their bodies. Persons can go for a walk and they
can make decisions. Bodies can not do that. Nevertheless, we can not refer
to persons without referring to their bodies. If we say: here we have
a person, but he or she unfortunately is lacking a body, it does not make
sense. Persons are totally different from the concrete situations they
are in. Nevertheless, we can not refer to persons without referring to
the situations they are in. If we say: here we have a person, but this
person has never been in a concrete situation, it does not make sense.
Language is totally different from reality. Nevertheless, we have to perceive
language as something that can be used to talk about reality. If we say:
here we have a language, but this language can not be used to talk about
reality, it does not make sense. Logical relations have decisive significance.
The absence of logical relations would mean that nothing could be of decisive
significance: as long as one does not contradict oneself nor is inconsistent
with facts, any point of view may be as good as the next, one can say
and mean anything. Logical relations are conditions for talking rationally
together. The part of the world we can talk rationally about, can thus
be defined as the part we can talk about using logical relations. But
we do not have any reason to assume that the world is identical with what
we can talk rationally about. Logic is something more basic than language.
Logical relations are what makes language a language and what assigns
meaning to words. Therefore, it is impossible to learn a language, without
learning to respect logical relations. But as we grow up and learn to
master language, logical relations are not present on a conscious level.
If we are conscious of logical relations, it is possible for us to decide
whether something is right or wrong and not to allow ourselves to be ruled
by for example habitual conceptions and subjective opinions.
A person can be described in an infinite number of ways. None of these
descriptions can be completely adequate. We therefore can not describe
precisely what a person is. Whichever way we describe a person, we do
however have the possibility to point out necessary relations between
persons and other factors. We have to respect these relations and factors
in order not to contradict ourselves and in order to be able to talk about
persons in a meaningful way.
One necessary relation is the logical relation between persons and bodies.
It makes no sense to refer to a person without referring to a body. If
we for example say: here we have a person, but he or she does not have
a body, it does not make sense.
Furthermore, there are necessary relations between persons and the rights
of persons. Persons should be treated as persons and therefore as having
rights. If we deny this assertion it goes wrong: here is a person, but
this person should not be treated as a person, or: here is a person, who
should be treated as a person, but not as having rights. Therefore we
can only talk about persons in a way that makes sense if we know that
persons have rights.
Concentrations of power
Concentrations of power do not always respect the rights of persons. If
one denies this fact one gets: concentrations of power always respect
the rights of persons. This does not correspond with our experiences.
Concentrations of power characterize our society. Concentrations of power
force persons to concentrate on participating in competition and power
games, in order to create a social position for themselves. Concurrently
with the concentrations of power dominating our conscious mind and being
decisive to our situations, the significance of our fellow humans diminishes.
And our own significance becomes the significance we have for concentrations
of power, the growth of concentrations of power, and the conflicts of
concentrations of power.
It is clear that persons should be consciously aware of the rights of
persons and therefore must seek to organize the smallest concentrations
of power possible.
Patents - ownership of objective knowledge
Science is about making right assertions. Right assertions represent objective
knowledge. Objective knowledge is something which can’t be denied meaningfully,
if we want to talk rationally together. Objective knowledge can be knowledge
about facts: at four o’clock they sat down and did this, or this mountain
is 3000 meters high. Objective knowledge can also be knowledge about logical
To take a patent on for example knowledge about the human genome or a
new type of medicine, is to claim ownership of objective knowledge. This
means that some persons claim the ownership of logical relations and knowledge
about facts. This ownership means that other persons must, for example,
pay in order to use objective knowledge, or that other persons are not
allowed at all to use it. If we claim a patent to objective knowledge,
we also say that some persons can use logical relations and facts and
some can not: Here we have a person, who should be treated as a person
and therefore as having rights, but this person is not allowed to use
logical relations or knowledge about facts. It does not make sense to
claim ownership of objective knowledge. If we try to defend ownership
of objective knowledge using language in a rational way it goes wrong.
The only way one can defend ownership of objective knowledge is by using
power and force. No persons have more right to use logical relations or
knowledge about facts than other persons, but concentrations of power
use force to maintain the illusion of ownership of objective knowledge.
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