ethics of creation


Shelley does not condemn creation, knowledge, or science. She simply recognizes the ethical considerations that must be addressed when wielding scientific power. While telling his story, Victor finally realizes that

a human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility. I do not think that the pursuit of knowledge is an exception to this rule. If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful. (493)

For Shelley, then, a balance must be reached between ethical responsibility and scientific creativity. Science worth studying should not overwhelm one's life. Nor should it produce arrogance that prevents the scientist from recognizing dangerous knowledge or taking responsibility for his creations.

  approach to knowledge




lack of responsibility

of the educator

of the creator




  other themes