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Summary The infosphere refers to an environment populated by informational entities, called inforgs (or informational organisms). The infosphere extends beyond the cyberspace, as it is to be intended as including both offline and analogue information. The philosophical reflection on the infosphere includes all the ontological, epistemic and ethical problems connected to the relation of organisms within such environment: the ontological nature of informational objects, their inner (moral) value and the interface between those objects. Other philosophical issues related to the Infosphere are the nature of informational media and their properties, e.g the trustability of informational sources and privacy. Such analyses rely on the underlying notion of information that is assumed as the substrate of the Infosphere and which can vary (from Shannon to quantum information). The thesis that the Infosphere coincides with the totality of what there is leads directly to an informational ontology. Outside of the philosophical debate, the term infosphere is used to refer to sets of informational infrastructure put in place and used to offer service; IBM uses explicitly the term to refer to its service infrastructure.
Key works For the ethical assessment of objects in the infosphere, see Floridi 2002.
Introductions For the notion of inforgs, see Floridi 2007.
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  1. Luciano Floridi (2007). A Look Into the Future Impact of ICT on Our Lives. The Information Society, 23.1, 59-64.
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  2. Luciano Floridi (2002). On the Intrinsic Value of Information Objects and the Infosphere. Ethics and Information Technology 4 (4):287-304.
    What is the most general common set ofattributes that characterises something asintrinsically valuableand hence as subject to some moral respect, andwithout which something would rightly beconsidered intrinsically worthless or even positivelyunworthy and therefore rightly to bedisrespected in itself? Thispaper develops and supports the thesis that theminimal condition of possibility of an entity'sleast intrinsic value is to be identified with itsontological status as an information object.All entities, even when interpreted as only clusters ofinformation, still have a minimal moral worthqua information objects (...)
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  3. Claudio Gnoli (2008). Categories and Facets in Integrative Levels. Axiomathes 18 (2):177-192.
    Facets and general categories used in bibliographic classification have been based on a disciplinary organization of knowledge. However, facets and categories of phenomena independent from disciplines can be identified similarly. Phenomena can be classified according to a series of integrative levels (layers), which in turn can be grouped into the major strata of form, matter, life, mind, society and culture, agreeing with Nicolai Hartmann’s ontology. Unlike a layer, a stratum is not constituted of elements of the lower ones; rather, it (...)
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  4. Ken Herold (2003). An Information Continuum Conjecture. Minds and Machines 13 (4):553-566.
    Turing tersely mentioned a notion of ``cultural search'' while otherwise deeply engaged in the design and operations of one of the earliest computers. His idea situated the individual squarely within a collaborative intellectual environment, but did he mean to suggest this in the form of a general information system? In the same writing Turing forecast mechanizations of proofs and outlined genetical searches, much later implemented in cellular automata. The conjecture explores the networked data-information-knowledge continuum as the subject of Turing's notions (...)
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  5. Ken'ichi Ikeda, Sean Richey & Holly Teresi (2013). Browsing Alone: The Differential Impact of Internet Platforms on Political Participation. Japanese Journal of Political Science 14 (3):305-319.
    We research the political impact of how users access the Internet. Recent research suggests that Internet usage may promote political participation. Internet usage is proposed to be beneficial because it increases activity in diverse politicized social networks and through greater access to information. Even though Internet usage may begin as a non-political activity, we outline several reasons to believe that it may spark later political participation. This impact, however, is likely to be non-existent in new forms of Internet browsing such (...)
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  6. Phyllis Illari (2012). The Philosophy of Information - a Simple Introduction. Society for the Philosophy of Information.
    This book serves as the main reference for an undergraduate course on Philosophy of Information. The book is written to be accessible to the typical undergraduate student of Philosophy and does not require propaedeutic courses in Logic, Epistemology or Ethics. Each chapter includes a rich collection of references for the student interested in furthering her understanding of the topics reviewed in the book. -/- The book covers all the main topics of the Philosophy of Information and it should be considered (...)
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  7. P. D. Magnus (2009). On Trusting WIKIPEDIA. Episteme 6 (1):74-90.
    Given the fact that many people use Wikipedia, we should ask: Can we trust it? The empirical evidence suggests that Wikipedia articles are sometimes quite good but that they vary a great deal. As such, it is wrong to ask for a monolithic verdict on Wikipedia. Interacting with Wikipedia involves assessing where it is likely to be reliable and where not. I identify five strategies that we use to assess claims from other sources and argue that, to a greater of (...)
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  8. Orlin Vakarelov (2012). The Information Medium. Philosophy and Technology 25 (1):47-65.
    The paper offers the foundations of the theory of information media. Information media are dynamical systems with additional macrostructure of information-carrying states and information-preserving transformations. The paper also defines the notion of information media network as a system of information media connected by information transformations. It is demonstrated that many standard examples of information-containing and processing systems are captured by the general notion of information medium. The paper uses the theory (and informal discussion) of information media to motivate a structural (...)
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  9. Graham White, Semantics, Hermenutics, Statistics: Some Reflections on the Semantic Web. Proceedings of HCI2011.
    We start with the ambition -- dating back to the early days of the semantic web -- of assembling a significant portion human knowledge into a contradiction-free form using semantic web technology. We argue that this would not be desirable, because there are concepts, known as essentially contested concepts, whose definitions are contentious due to deep-seated ethical disagreements. Further, we argue that the ninetenth century hermeneutical tradition has a great deal to say, both about the ambition, and about why it (...)
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  10. Jeffrey White (201?). Infosphere to Ethosphere Moral Mediators in the Nonviolent Transformation of Self and World. International Journal of Technoethics:1-19.
    This paper reviews the complex, overlapping ideas of two prominent Italian philosophers, Lorenzo Magnani and Luciano Floridi, with the aim of facilitating the nonviolent transformation of self and world, and with a focus on information technologies in mediating this process. In Floridi’s information ethics, problems of consistency arise between self-poiesis, anagnorisis, entropy, evil, and the narrative structure of the world. Solutions come from Magnani’s work in distributed morality, moral mediators, moral bubbles and moral disengagement. Finally, two examples of information technology, (...)
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