Knowledge is generally a good thing. People who know lots of bits of information are generally admired. Some of them win prizes in TV competitions. If you were offered the gift of having an entire encyclopedia wired into your brain, you would probably accept, without thinking. But we should be wary of assuming that all knowledge is good. Too much knowledge can inhibit rather than enable thought.
Jonathan Herring, M.A., B.C.L., is a fellow of law at Exeter College, University of Oxford, and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Law Faculty, University of Oxford. His books include Medical Law and Ethics (3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 2010) and Older People in Law and Society (Oxford University Press, 2009).
Charles Foster, M.A., Vet.M.B., M.R.C.V.S., Barrister, is a fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, and teaches medical ethics and law at the University of Oxford. He practices as a barrister from Outer Temple Chambers, London. His recent books include Choosing Life, Choosing Death: The Tyranny of Autonomy in Medical Ethics and Law (Hart, 2009).