Towards an ontological foundation of information ethics

Ethics and Information Technology 8 (4):175-186 (2006)
Abstract
The paper presents, firstly, a brief review of the long history\nof information ethics beginning with the Greek concept of parrhesia\nor freedom of speech as analyzed by Michel Foucault. The recent concept\nof information ethics is related particularly to problems which arose\nin the last century with the development of computer technology and\nthe internet. A broader concept of information ethics as dealing\nwith the digital reconstruction of all possible phenomena leads to\nquestions relating to digital ontology. Following Heidegger{\textquoteright}s\nconception of the relation between ontology and metaphysics, the\nauthor argues that ontology has to do with Being itself and not just\nwith the Being of beings which is the matter of metaphysics. The\nprimary aim of an ontological foundation of information ethics is\nto question the metaphysical ambitions of digital ontology understood\nas today{\textquoteright}s pervading understanding of Being. The\nauthor analyzes some challenges of digital technology, particularly\nwith regard to the moral status of digital agents. The author argues\nthat information ethics does not only deal with ethical questions\nrelating to the infosphere. This view is contrasted with arguments\npresented by Luciano Floridi on the foundation of information ethics\nas well as on the moral status of digital agents. It is argued that\na reductionist view of the human body as digital data overlooks the\nlimits of digital ontology and gives up one basis for ethical orientation.\nFinally issues related to the digital divide as well as to intercultural\naspects of information ethics are explored {\textendash} and long\nand short-term agendas for appropriate responses are presented
Keywords digital agents   digital ontology   human existence   information ethics   infosphere   metaphysics   reductionism
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Citations of this work BETA
Richard A. Spinello (2012). Information and Computer Ethics. Journal of Information Ethics 21 (2):17-32.
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