Epistemic value theory and information ethics

Minds and Machines 14 (1):101-117 (2004)
Abstract
Three of the major issues in information ethics – intellectual property, speech regulation, and privacy – concern the morality of restricting people’s access to certain information. Consequently, policies in these areas have a significant impact on the amount and types of knowledge that people acquire. As a result, epistemic considerations are critical to the ethics of information policy decisions (cf. Mill, 1978 [1859]). The fact that information ethics is a part of the philosophy of information highlights this important connection with epistemology. In this paper, I illustrate how a value-theoretic approach to epistemology can help to clarify these major issues in information ethics. However, I also identify several open questions about epistemic values that need to be answered before we will be able to evaluate the epistemic consequences of many information policies
Keywords epistemic value theory   epistemology   information ethics   intellectual property   philosophy of information   privacy   social epistemology   speech regulation
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