David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethics and Information Technology 4 (4):287-304 (2002)
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 and so may deserve to be respected. Thepaper is organised into four main sections.Section 1 models moral action as an information systemusing the object-oriented programmingmethodology (OOP). Section 2 addresses the question of whatrole the several components constituting themoral system can have in an ethical analysis. If theycan play only an instrumental role, thenComputer Ethics (CE) is probably bound to remain at most apractical, field-dependent, applied orprofessional ethics. However, Computer Ethics can give rise to amacroethical approach, namely InformationEthics (IE), if one can show that ethical concern should beextended to include not only human, animal orbiological entities, but also information objects. Thefollowing two sections show how this minimalistlevel of analysis can be achieved. Section 3 provides anaxiological analysis of information objects. Itcriticises the Kantian approach to the concept ofintrinsic value and shows that it can beimproved by using the methodology introduced in the first section.The solution of the Kantian problem prompts thereformulation of the key question concerningthe moral worth of an entity: what is theintrinsic value of x qua an object constituted by itsinherited attributes? In answering thisquestion, it is argued that entitiescan share different observable propertiesdepending on the level of abstraction adopted,and that it is still possible to speak of moral value even at thehighest level of ontological abstractionrepresented by the informational analysis. Section 4 develops aminimalist axiology based on the concept ofinformation object. It further supports IE's position byaddressing five objections that may undermineits acceptability.
|Keywords||Kant Kingdom of Ends Kingdom of Nature axiology computer ethics dignity entropy information ethics information object infosphere intrinsic value object-oriented programming ontology respect|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Luciano Floridi (2007). A Defence of Informational Structural Realism. Synthese 161 (2):219 - 253.
Richard Volkman (2010). Why Information Ethics Must Begin with Virtue Ethics. Metaphilosophy 41 (3):380-401.
David J. Gunkel (2014). A Vindication of the Rights of Machines. Philosophy and Technology 27 (1):113-132.
Miguel Sicart (2009). The Banality of Simulated Evil: Designing Ethical Gameplay. [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 11 (3):191-202.
Massimo Durante (2013). Dealing with Legal Conflicts in the Information Society. An Informational Understanding of Balancing Competing Interests. Philosophy and Technology 26 (4):437-457.
Similar books and articles
Soraj Hongladarom (2008). Floridi and Spinoza on Global Information Ethics. Ethics and Information Technology 10 (2-3):175-187.
Luciano Floridi (2002). Information Ethics. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 9 (1):39-45.
Rafael Capurro (2006). Towards an Ontological Foundation of Information Ethics. Ethics and Information Technology 8 (4):175-186.
Luciano Floridi (2012). Semantic Information and the Network Theory of Account. Synthese 184 (3):431-454.
Luciano Floridi (2005). The Ontological Interpretation of Informational Privacy. Ethics and Information Technology 7 (4):185-200.
Rafael Capurro (2008). On Floridi's Metaphysical Foundation of Information Ecology. Ethics and Information Technology 10 (2-3):167-173.
Matteo Turilli, Antonino Vaccaro & Mariarosaria Taddeo (2012). Internet Neutrality: Ethical Issues in the Internet Environment. Philosophy and Technology 25 (2):133-151.
Luciano Floridi (1999). Information Ethics: On the Philosophical Foundation of Computer Ethics. [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 1 (1):33-52.
Kenneth Einar Himma (2004). There's Something About Mary: The Moral Value of Things Qua Information Objects. [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 6 (3):145-159.
Philip Brey (2008). Do We Have Moral Duties Towards Information Objects? Ethics and Information Technology 10 (2-3):109-114.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads48 ( #53,895 of 1,700,362 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #105,649 of 1,700,362 )
How can I increase my downloads?