The essential difficulty about Computer Ethics' (CE) philosophical status is a methodological problem: standard ethical theories cannot easily be adapted to deal with CE-problems, which appear to strain their conceptual resources, and CE requires a conceptual foundation as an ethical theory. InformationEthics (IE), the philosophical foundational counterpart of CE, can be seen as a particular case of environmental ethics or ethics of the infosphere. What is good for an information entity and the infosphere (...) in general? This is the ethical question asked by IE. The answer is provided by a minimalist theory of deseerts: IE argues that there is something more elementary and fundamental than life and pain, namely being, understood as information, and entropy, and that any information entity is to be recognised as the centre of a minimal moral claim, which deserves recognition and should help to regulate the implementation of any information process involving it. IE can provide a valuable perspective from which to approach, with insight and adequate discernment, not only moral problems in CE, but also the whole range of conceptual and moral phenomena that form the ethical discourse. (shrink)
We argue for the addition of trauma informed awareness, training, and skill in clinical ethics consultation by proposing a novel framework for Trauma Informed Ethics Consultation (TIEC). This approach expands on the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) framework for, and key insights from feminist approaches to, ethics consultation, and the literature on trauma informed care (TIC). TIEC keeps ethics consultation in line with the provision of TIC in other clinical settings. Most crucially, TIEC (like (...) TIC) is systematically sensitive to culture, history, difference, power, social exclusion, oppression, and marginalization. By engaging a neonatal intensive care ethics consult example, we define our TIEC approach and illustrate its application. Through TIEC we argue it is the role of ethics consultants to not only hold open moral spaces, but to furnish them in morally habitable ways for all stakeholders involved in the ethics consultation process, including patients, surrogates, and practitioners. (shrink)
In recent years, “InformationEthics” (IE) has come to mean different things to different researchers working in a variety of disciplines, including computer ethics, business ethics, medical ethics, computer science, the philosophy of information, social epistemology and library and information science. Using an ontocentric approach, this paper seeks to define the parameters of IE and thereby increase our understanding of the moral challenges associated with Information Communication Technologies.
The essential difficulty about Computer Ethics’ (CE) philosophical status is a methodological problem: standard ethical theories cannot easily be adapted to deal with CE-problems, which appear to strain their conceptual resources, and CE requires a conceptual foundation as an ethical theory. InformationEthics (IE), the philosophical foundational counterpart of CE, can be seen as a particular case of ‘environmental’ ethics or ethics of the infosphere. What is good for an information entity and the infosphere (...) in general? This is the ethical question asked by IE. The answer is provided by a minimalist theory of deserts: IE argues that there is something more elementary and fundamental than life and pain, namely being, understood as information, and entropy, and that any information entity is to be recognised as the centre of a minimal moral claim, which deserves recognition and should help to regulate the implementation of any information process involving it. IE can provide a valuable perspective from which to approach, with insight and adequate discernment, not only moral problems in CE, but also the whole range of conceptual and moral phenomena that form the ethical discourse. (shrink)
The paper argues that InformationEthics (IE) can provide a successful approach for coping with the challenges posed by our increasingly globalized reality. After a brief review of some of the most fundamental transformations brought about by the phenomenon of globalization, the article distinguishes between two ways of understanding Global InformationEthics, as an ethics of global communication or as a global-informationethics. It is then argued that cross-cultural, successful interactions among micro and (...) macro agents call for a high level of successful communication, that the latter requires a shared ontology friendly towards the implementation of moral actions, and that this is provided by IE. There follows a brief account of IE and of the ontic trust, the hypothetical pact between all agents and patients presupposed by IE. (shrink)
Abstract: The informationethics (IE) of Floridi and Sanders is evaluated here in the light of an alternative in virtue ethics that is antifoundationalist, particularist, and relativist in contrast to Floridi's foundationalist, impartialist, and universalist commitments. Drawing from disparate traditional sources like Aristotle, Nietzsche, and Emerson, as well as contemporary advocates of virtue ethics like Nussbaum, Foot, and Williams, the essay shows that the central contentions of IE, including especially the principle of ontological equality, must either (...) express commitments grounded in the particular perspectives we already inhabit, or be without rational or ethical force for us. (shrink)
As a full expression of techne, the information society has already posed fundamental ethical problems, whose complexity and global dimensions are rapidlyevolving. What is the best strategy to construct an information society that is ethically sound? This is the question I discuss in this paper. The task is to formulate aninformation ethics that can treat the world of data, information, knowledge and communication as a new environment, the infosphere. This informationethics must be able (...) to address and solve the ethical challenges arising in the new environment on the basis of the fundamental principles of respect for information, its conservation and valorisation. It must be an ecological ethics for the information environment. (shrink)
In modern technical societies computers interact with human beings in ways that can affect moral rights and obligations. This has given rise to the question whether computers can act as autonomous moral agents. The answer to this question depends on many explicit and implicit definitions that touch on different philosophical areas such as anthropology and metaphysics. The approach chosen in this paper centres on the concept of information. Information is a multi-facetted notion which is hard to define comprehensively. (...) However, the frequently used definition of information as data endowed with meaning can promote our understanding. It is argued that information in this sense is a necessary condition of cognitivist ethics. This is the basis for analysing computers and information processors regarding their status as possible moral agents. Computers have several characteristics that are desirable for moral agents. However, computers in their current form are unable to capture the meaning of information and therefore fail to reflect morality in anything but a most basic sense of the term. This shortcoming is discussed using the example of the Moral Turing Test. The paper ends with a consideration of which conditions computers would have to fulfil in order to be able to use information in such a way as to render them capable of acting morally and reflecting ethically. (shrink)
Like all other inventions, advances in the field of digital computational technologies, which we will briefly describe as the information world, have also played an essential role in humanity life. These advances have brought some ethical debates to our individual and social life, as well as the industrial benefit obtained by the digital and analog technological developments that positively or negatively affect and transform all economic and cultural paradigms surrounding human life. The branch of the philosophy of information, (...) which questions the basic issues and discussions of the information age through philosophical paradigms, deals with the ontological, epistemological, and axiological problems of the information age. The subject deals with the analysis and new results of an Aristotelian informationethics theory, which is a theory first proposed to the world of thought in the field of the philosophy of information. The main reason for dealing with this subject in the thesis is to examine the scientific, technological, and philosophical bases of the information revolution. (shrink)
Information unethical behavior is concerned with ethical behavioural conflicts in the use of information, information technologies, and information systems. This study examines the combination of locus of control and job insecurity as a joint moderator on the decision making process for information ethical behavioral intentions. A conceptual model is proposed to see the joint moderating role of LOC and JI. In the model, ethical behavioral intentions are influenced directly by ethical attitude, personal values, and perceived (...) behavioural control. Simultaneously, personal values also indirectly influence ethical behavioral intentions through the mediation of ethical attitude. The causal relationships are moderated by the joint moderator. Notably, the moderating effects were simultaneously examined using data from undergraduates in the MIS department of a college. The influences of the ethical attitude and personal values on ethical behavioral intentions are found to be similar for those with external locus of control and insecurity perception and those with internal locus of control and security perception. Furthermore, the influences of personal values on ethical attitude, and of perceived behavioural control on ethical behavioral intentions, are both greater for Controlists than Confusionists. Implications of the empirical findings are discussed. (shrink)
The theories of informationethics articulated by Luciano Floridi and his collaborators have clear implications for law. Information law, including the law of privacy and of intellectual property, is especially likely to benefit from a coherent and comprehensive theory of informationethics. This article illustrates how informationethics might apply to legal doctrine, by examining legal questions related to the ownership and control of the personal data representations, including photographs, game avatars, and consumer (...) profiles, that have become ubiquitous with the proliferation of information and communication technologies. Recent controversy over the control of player performance statistics in “fantasy” sports leagues provides a limiting case for the analysis. Such data representations will in many instances constitute the kind of personal data that informationethics asserts constitutes an information entity. Legal doctrine in some instances proves sympathetic to such an assertion, but remains largely inchoate as to which data might constitute a given information entity in a given instance. Neither is informationethics, in its current state of development, entirely helpful in answering this critical question. While informationethics holds some promise to bring coherence to this area of the law, further work articulating a richer theory of informationethics will be necessary before it can do so. (shrink)
– This paper aims to examine the present status of the research field intercultural informationethics including the foundational debate as well as specific issues., – A critical overview of the recent literature of the field is given., – The present IIE debate focuses on a narrow view of the field leaving aside comparative studies with non‐digital media as well as with other epochs and cultures. There is an emphasis on the question of privacy but other issues such (...) as online communities, governmentality, gender issues, mobile phones, health care and the digital divide are on the agenda., – The paper addresses basic issues of IIE that may open new vistas for research and practice in this field. (shrink)
This paper deals in the first part with some initiatives concerning the role of informationethics for Africa such as NEPAD, UN ICT and AISI particularly since the World Summit on the Information Society. InformationEthics from Africa is a young academic field. Not much has been published so far on the impact of ICT on African societies and cultures from a philosophical perspective. The second part of the paper analyses some recent research on this (...) matter particularly with regard to the concept of ubuntu. Finally the paper addresses some issues of the African Conference on InformationEthics held in Pretoria, 3-5 February 2007. (shrink)
“The overall goal of informationethics is to integrate information technology and human values in such a way that IT advances and protects human values rather than doing damage to them”. We are pleased to present in this issue five papers from a recent European conference on informationethics edited and introduced by Simon Rogerson, Director of the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at De Montfort University, England.We are also pleased to announce a major (...) new feature of the Review, entitled Business Ethics on the Internet, which will be contributed from time to time by members of the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at De Montfort University. This will provide regular up‐to‐date information and comment on the resources which are becoming increasingly available on the Internet relating to the study of business ethics and the practice of ethical business. It will be launched in our July issue in an article entitled “Business Ethics on the Internet”. (shrink)
Information cultures consist of the values, beliefs and behaviour relating to information ownership and management, while informationethics applies to the moral application of data. The author’s experience of Russia and its information culture provides a striking case study of the disastrous social and business consequences of an absence of informationethics. This paper was delivered in its original form at the First World Congress of Business, Economics and Ethics of the International (...) Society of Business, Economics and Ethics, held in Reitaku University, Tokyo, in July 1996. The author is Associate Professor of Information Systems in the School of Business, Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut 06430–5195. (shrink)
Based on personal experience, and content analysis, this paper examines InformationEthics from a student‘s perspective. Within this framework the paper defines IE, outlines the history of IE and highlights incidences of IE violations in Uganda. The paper concludes with proposals towards better adherence to IE in Uganda. The paper presents personal experience, observation and a content analysis methodology.
Good journalism is based—and to some extent thrives—on a diversity of perspectives from those who supply information and informed opinions to the public. New media journalism is a contemporary newsgathering and disseminating method with enormous communication potential because it is an online forum that can connect a great number of diverse contributors and audiences. Citizen journalism—performed on a global level through the Web—is a potential marvel because of its wide reach and range of diversity. This paper offers an examination (...) and philosophical analysis that shows which facets of new media informationethics and epistemology can be reconciled with universal ethical and epistemological principles and which, if any, cannot. To that end, we wish to provide groundwork for the description and critical evaluation of universal ethical and epistemic standards consistent with the phenomenon of new media journalism. (shrink)
“The overall goal of informationethics is to integrate information technology and human values in such a way that IT advances and protects human values rather than doing damage to them” . We are pleased to present in this issue five papers from a recent European conference on informationethics edited and introduced by Simon Rogerson, Director of the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at De Montfort University, England.We are also pleased to announce a (...) major new feature of the Review, entitled Business Ethics on the Internet, which will be contributed from time to time by members of the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at De Montfort University. This will provide regular up‐to‐date information and comment on the resources which are becoming increasingly available on the Internet relating to the study of business ethics and the practice of ethical business. It will be launched in our July issue in an article entitled “Business Ethics on the Internet”. (shrink)
The iSchool movement is an academic endeavor focusing on the information sciences and characterized by a number of features: concern with society-wide information problems, flexibility and adaptability of curricula, repositioning of research towards interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary exchange . Teaching informationethics in an iSchool would seem to be a requisite for students who will have an enormous impact on the information technologies that increasingly permeate our lives. The case for studying ethics in a college (...) of information science and technology, as opposed to the liberal arts and humanities, has been regarded only marginally, however. In this paper I explore how I developed and delivered an informationethics course, paying attention to student receptivity and learning, course structure and assignments, as well as its connection to the wider curriculum and its efficacy. (shrink)
This volume provides an overview of the most recent developments in empirical investigations of morality and assesses their impact and importance for ethical thinking. It involves contributions of scholars both from philosophy, theology and empirical sciences with firm standings in their own disciplines, but an inclination to step across borders-in particular the one between the world of facts and the world of norms. Human morality is complex, and probably even messy-and this clean distinction becomes blurred whenever one looks more closely (...) at the various components that enable and influence our moral actions and ethical orientations. In that way, morality may indeed be located between facts and norms-and an empirically informed ethics that is less concerned with analytical purity but immerses into this moral complexity may be an important step to make the contributions of ethics to this world more valuable and relevant. (shrink)
A philosophical and practical model for approaching the ethical challenges librarians are facing is provided in this work. The moral value of information is first examined, prompting a rethinking of librarians' understanding of professional neutrality and calling for them to broaden their role as community information specialists. Organizational ethics are next covered; the authors recommend specific management styles and values appropriate to libraries. This is followed by a critical analysis of the culture and tradition of librarianship, showing (...) how the field has reached its current identity and how its history can provide insights for new professional values. Practical recommendations for handling ethical problems in reference service, collection development and Internet access are then presented. (shrink)
An important question one can ask of ethical theories is whether and how they aim to raise claims to universality. This refers to the subject area that they intend to describe or govern and also to the question whether they claim to be binding for all (moral) agents. This paper discusses the question of universality of Luciano Floridi’s informationethics (IE). This is done by introducing the theory and discussing its conceptual foundations and applications. The emphasis will be (...) placed on the ontological grounding of IE. IE’s claims to universality will be contrasted with those raised by discourse ethics. This comparison of two pertinent ethical theories allows for a critical discussion of areas where IE currently has room for elaboration and development. (shrink)
Three of the major issues in informationethics – 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 ). The fact that informationethics 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 informationethics. 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. (shrink)
Background Ethics consultations are established in contemporary health care. Informal ethics consultations often occur and are possibly beneficial, yet they have not been empirically studied. We sought to describe features of informal ethics consultations and to identify facilitators and disruptors of patient participation in such ethics consultations. Methods We used a mixed methods evaluation design and conveniently sampled 64 sequential informal ethics consultations over a period of 3 years in two academic health care centers in (...) one city in Canada. Data were collected by the two participating ethicists. We used statistical description for the quantitative data and thematic analysis for the qualitative data. Results Patients participated in only two of the informal ethics consultations. Factors that disrupted patient participation in ethics consultations were related to patients’ issues, family issues, and team members’ issues. Conclusion Informal ethics consultations may be used for ethics capacity building of health care providers rather than for engagement with addressed patients. Further research on informal ethics consultations is required, including in different sites. (shrink)
Information cultures consist of the values, beliefs and behaviour relating to information ownership and management, while informationethics applies to the moral application of data. The author’s experience of Russia and its information culture provides a striking case study of the disastrous social and business consequences of an absence of informationethics. This paper was delivered in its original form at the First World Congress of Business, Economics and Ethics of the International (...) Society of Business, Economics and Ethics , held in Reitaku University, Tokyo, in July 1996. The author is Associate Professor of Information Systems in the School of Business, Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut 06430–5195. (shrink)
The present article analyzes ethics in Karl Marx perspectives, going through informationethics and information literacy that permeate individuation and class struggle in capitalist society. The objective is to approach critical reflection about dominated and dominant class’s ethics values proclaimed by author. In order to provide the desired research, I did literature review and digital documents consultation about the themes. Through this work, it is possible to identify that the author’s description of reality through historical (...) materialism sought the dissemination of ethics through the ascertainment that individuals generate their stories, but these are not linked to their wills but directly linked to class formation and struggle as factors determining the circumstances under which the reality of society is constituted. It implies the search for mastery of language codes and information literacy to know, seize and disseminate informationethics aiming at the effective strategies elaboration to combat the ruling class hegemony. (shrink)
We consider the mission of the librarian as an information provider and the core value that gives this mission its social importance. Our focus here is on those issues that arise in relation to the role of the librarian as an information provider. In particular, we focus on questions of the selection and organization of information, which bring up issues of bias, neutrality, advocacy, and children's rights to access information.
To overcome “digital reductionism,” a new kind of mechanical view on human beings, fundamental informatics provides some critical viewpoints. It regards information as “meaning” generated in living things which do not exist alone but are parts of ecological system. On the other hand, V. E. Frankl proposed two dimensions of humans: homo sapiens and homo patiens. The latter is the essential aspect of humans whose essence is “compassion,” while the former is the nature like a mechanical machine. As features (...) of living things, unrestricted ability of interpretation as well as inseparable relationships between others underlies both in Frankl’s thought and fundamental informatics. This viewpoint can be applied to the concept of “information literacy.”. (shrink)
A global informationethics that seeks to avoid imperialistic homogenization must conjoin shared norms while simultaneously preserving the irreducible differences between cultures and peoples. I argue that a global informationethics may fulfill these requirements by taking up an ethical pluralism – specifically Aristotle’s pros hen [“towards one”] or “focal” equivocals. These ethical pluralisms figure centrally in both classical and contemporary Western ethics: they further offer important connections with the major Eastern ethical tradition of Confucian (...) thought. Both traditions understand ethical judgment to lead to and thus require ethical pluralism – i.e., an acceptance of more than one judgment regarding the interpretation and application of a shared ethical norm. Both traditions invoke notions of resonance and harmony to articulate pluralistic structures of connection alongside irreducible differences. Specific examples within Western computer and informationethics demonstrate these pluralisms in fact working in praxis. After reviewing further resonances and radical differences between Western and Eastern views, I then argue that emerging conceptions of privacy and data privacy protection laws in China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Thailand in fact constitute a robust, pros hen pluralism with Western conceptions. In both theory and in praxis, then, this pluralism thus fulfills the requirement for a global informationethics that holds shared norms alongside the irreducible differences between cultures and peoples. (shrink)
The emergence of social networking is closely related with the new technologies improving user interface experience thus making the interaction between users more natural and intuitive. Before, the first online communities of interest were user lists and asynchronous discussion groups resembling more the form of mass mailings than informal discussions in a cafe or in a classroom. The impact of web 2.0 on scientific practices has become evident in establishing more and more epistemic communities as virtual communities and vice versa. (...) With respect to the role of the paradigm in the constitution and operations of an epistemic community, the framework of values and the ethical reflection of that become its own form of binding and guiding principle of the theoretical action. Thus any individual who joins an online community with the ambition of an epistemic effect must develop the morals and ethics necessary to enable him/her to understand the relevant forms of their theoretical practice. (shrink)
Ethicists don't discuss etiquette very much, in part because it has always seemed too close to the surface of social interaction and too ephemeral or conventional for theory. But I suspect that most people, even philosophers, would agree that social etiquette often reinforces and complements our ethical intuitions. For example, in social etiquette we draw a line between reasonable and normal questions to ask others and questions which pry, invade privacy, or otherwise embarrass them. A natural justification of this practice (...) is that it conserves personal autonomy by helping people control information about themselves and decide for themselves how and when to disclose information. Many of the practices of "polite culture" serve similar, if less profound, purposes. (shrink)
In this paper, we employ Extended Cognition as a background for a series of thought experiments about privacy and common used information technology devices. Laptops and smart phones are now widely used devices, but current privacy standards do not adequately address the relationship between the owners of these devices and the information stored on them. Law enforcement treats laptops and smart phones are potential sources of information about criminal activity, but this treatment ignores the use of smart (...) devices as extensions of users’ cognitive capability. In Philosophy of Mind, Extended Cognition is a metaphysical theory about the relationship between consciousness or cognitive activity and various external tools or aids that agents employ in the service of cognition. Supporters of Extended Cognition argue that mental activity must be understood as taking place both within the brain and by way of tools such as a logician’s pen and paper, a mathematician’s calculator, or a writer’s word processing program. While Extended Cognition does not have universal support among philosophers of mind, the theory nevertheless describes how agents interact with their “smart devices.” We explore the the implications of taking Extended Cognition seriously with regard to privacy concerns by way of a series of thought experiments. By comparing the differences in expectations of privacy between a citizen and the government, between an employee of a corporate firm, and between citizens alone, we show that expectations of privacy and injury are significantly affected by taking the cognitive role of smart devices into account. (shrink)
This is an introduction to a set of papers on Computer Ethics from the conference ETHICOMP95. Taken as a whole, the collection of papers provides arguments and concepts to launch a new development in computer ethics: ‘Global InformationEthics’. A rationale for globalization is provided, as well as some early efforts which move in that direction.