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Information Ethics Current and Future Research Areas


Information Ethics 
Current and Future Research Areas 
 

Rafael Capurro

Steinbeis-Transfer-Institute Information Ethics (STI-IE)

http://sti-ie.de

Lecture at the Division of Information and Library Studies

Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University

Brno, Czech Republic

June 2, 2009

 


 

2  

Content 

  • Introduction
  • Foundational Issues
  • Current Research Areas
  • Conclusion: Forthcoming Topics
  • Bibliography

R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

3  

Introduction 

The concept of ethics as reflection on morality is widely accepted among philosophers going back to Aristotle as the founder of ethics (or ethik�� belonging to philosophia praktik��) as an academic discipline. Constructivists such as Niklas Luhmann underline the critical function of ethical theory with regard to morality (or ethos).


R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

4  

Introduction 

Information ethics evolved out of computer science but has also roots in the library and information science field.

The University of Pittsburgh and Kent State University are among the US pioneers (Froehlich 2004).


R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

5  

Introduction 

In the last ten years or so a plethora of international conferences have taken place and the number of scientific publications has dramatically increased.


R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

6  

Introduction 

Specialized journals:

Journal of Information Ethics

The ETHICOMP Journal

Ethics and Information Technology

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

International Review of Information Ethics

International Journal of Internet Research Ethics

International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction

Journal of Computer Mediated Communication


R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

7  

Introduction 

Professional societies such as

INSEIT (International Society for Ethics and Information Technology)

ICIE (International Center for Information Ethics)

Center of Excellence for Ethics and Technology (The Netherlands)

as well as IE networks in Africa, Asia and Latin America have contributed to the development of information ethics as a professional research field together with courses in universities world-wide.


R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

8  

Introduction 
 

UNESCO conferences on social, ethical and legal aspects of the Information Society since 1998.

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) 2003 and 2005.


R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

9  

Introduction 
 

  • CATaC Conferences organized by Charles Ess and Fay Sudweeks since 1998.
  • ETHICOMP Conferences organized by Simon Rogerson since 1995.
  • CEPE conferences (since 1997).
  • ICIE Conference 2004: the first international conference addressing explicitly information ethics from an intercultural perspective.
  • The Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics: international conference 2005 (forth.2010).

R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

10  

The Foundational Debate 

  • Charles Ess:
    • avoiding imperialistic homogenization while preserving the irreducible differences between cultures and people
    • Western Ethics and Confucian thought: „resonance�� and „harmony��
    • pros hen�� robust pluralism
    • Between irreducibility and complementarity

R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

11  

The Foundational Debate 

  • Toru Nishigaki:
    • The Western idea of a „coherent self�� and the Buddhist questionning of this idea.
    • The Western search for universal values and the „doing away of conventional or universal interpretations of the meanings of words�� in ZEN.
    • Cognition as representation vs. „enactment�� of the history of actions of a subject in the world
    • Ethics as observer-dependent reflection on moral norms („fundamental informatics��).

R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

12  

The Foundational Debate 

  • Terrell Ward Bynum:
    • „flourishing ethics��
    • Basic principles: freedom, equality and benevolence, minimum infringement of freedom.
    • Maximize the opportunities of all humans to exercise their autonomy.
    • Different cultures „can provide a conductive context for human flourishing.��

R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

13  

The Foundational Debate 

  • Luciano Floridi:
    • the quest for an ethics of/for the „infosphere��
    • Different clases of information entities
    • „onto-centric�� ethics
    • Various degrees of „intrinsic value��
    • Various leels of moral respect (from a customer profile through netiquette and human dignity)

R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

14  

Current Research Areas 

(See: Himma/Tavani 2008)

  • Theoretical Issues of Property, Privacy, Anonymity, and Security
  • Professional Issues:
    • Library Profession
    • Free and Open Source
    • Internet Research Ethics
    • Health Information Technology
    • Information and Business Ethics

R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

15  

Current Research Areas 

  • Responsibility Issues and Risk Assessment
    • Responsibilities for Information on the Internet
    • Virtual Reality and Computer Simulation
    • Genetic Information
    • The Ethics of Cyber Conflict

R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

16  

Current Research Areas 

  • Regulatory Isues and Challenges
    • Internet Governance
    • Information Overload
    • Email Spam
    • Plagiarims
    • Intellectual Property

R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

17  

Current Research Areas 

  • Access and Equity Issues
    • Censorship
    • Gender Agenda
    • Digital Divide
    • Intercultural Information Ethics

R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

18  

Conclusion 

Forthcoming topics:

  • Surveillance society
  • Convergent Technologies (Nano, Bio, Info, Cogno)
  • Robotics
  • Ubiquitous Computing
  • E-Waste
  • ICT-Implants and Enhancements

 


R. Capurro, Brno 2009

 

19  

Bibliography 

Capurro, R. (2008): On Floridi��s Metaphysical Foundation of Information Ecology. Ethics and Information Technology, Vol. 10, No. 2-3, 167-173. http://www.capurro.de/floridi.html

Capurro, R. (2008): Intercultural Information Ethics. Foundations and applications. Journal of Information, Communication & Ethics in Society, Vol. 6, No. 2, 116-126. http://www.capurro.de/iiebangkok.html

Capurro, R., Fr��hbauer, J., Hausmanninger, Th. (Eds.) (2007), Localizing the Internet: ethical aspects in intercultural perspective. Munich: Fink

Capurro, R. (2007): Intercultural Information Ethics. In: Rafael Capurro, Johannes Fr��hbauer, Thomas Hausmanninger (Eds.): Localizing the Internet. Ethical Aspects in Intercultural Perspective. ICIE Series, Munich: Fink, pp. 21-38. http://www.capurro.de/iie.html

Froehlich, Thomas J. (2004): A brief history of information ethics. Textos universitaris de  bibliioteconomia i documentaci��, 3. http://www.ub.es/bid/13froel2.htm

Himma, K.E. and Tavani, H.T. (Eds.) (2008): The Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley & Sons.

Hongladarom, S. and Ess, Ch. (Eds.) (2007) Information Technology Ethics: Cultural Perspectives. Hershey PA and London: Idea Group Reference. 
 


R. Capurro, Brno 2009

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