Advertisement

Ethics and Information Technology

, Volume 10, Issue 2–3, pp 97–108 | Cite as

Discourses on information ethics: The claim to universality

  • Bernd Carsten Stahl
Article

Abstract

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 information ethics (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.

Key words

discourse ethics information ethics Luciano Floridi ontology 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alison Adam. Computer Ethics in a Different Voice. Information and Organization, 11(4): 235–261, 2001.Google Scholar
  2. Alison Adam. Cyberstalking and Internet Pornography: Gender and the Gaze. Ethics and Information Technology, 4(2): 133–142, 2002.Google Scholar
  3. Alison Adam. Gender, Ethics and Information Technology. Palgrave McMillan, Basingstoke, 2005.Google Scholar
  4. Karl-Otto Apel. The a Priori of the Communication Community and the Foundations of Ethics: The Problem of a Rational Foundation of Ethics in the Scientific Age. In Karl-Otto Apel, editor, Towards a Transformation of Philosophy, pages 225–300. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London et al., 1980.Google Scholar
  5. Karl-Otto Apel. Diskurs und Verantwortung: das Problem des Übergangs zur postkonventionellen Moral, 3rd ed. 1997. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a. M., 1988.Google Scholar
  6. Ulrich Beck. Wie wird Demokratie im Zeitalter der Globalisierung möglich-eine Einleitung. In U. Beck, editor, Politik der Globalisierung. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt a. M., 1998.Google Scholar
  7. Frans A. J. Birrer. Applying Ethical and Moral Concepts and Theories to IT Contexts: Some Key Problems and Challenges. In Richard A. Spinello and Herman T. Tavani, editors, Readings in Cyberethics, pages 91–97. Jones and Bartlett, Sudbury, Massachusetts et al., 2001.Google Scholar
  8. Terrel Ward Bynum. Ethics and the Information Revolution. In Göran Collste, editor, Ethics in the Age of Information Technology, pages 32–55. Centre for Applied Ethics, Linköping, 2000.Google Scholar
  9. Terrel Ward Bynum. Flourishing Ethics. Ethics and Information Technology, 8(4): 157–173, 2006.Google Scholar
  10. Rafael Capurro. Towards an Ontological Foundation of Information Ethics. Ethics and Information Technology, 8(4): 175–186, 2006.Google Scholar
  11. Göran Collste. Political Philosophy in the Global Era – Is There a Need for Revision. In Carl-Henric Grenholm and Gert Helgesson, editors, Efficiency, Justice, and Stability-Ethical Perspectives in Economic Analysis and Practice, pages 71–90. University of Uppsala, Uppsala, 2000.Google Scholar
  12. Charles Ess. Ethical Pluralism and Global Information Ethics. Ethics and Information Technology, 8(4): 215–226, 2006.Google Scholar
  13. Charles Ess. Universal Information Ethics? Ethical Pluralism and Social Justice. In Emma Rooksby and John Weckert, editors, Information Technology and Social Justice, pages 69–92. InfoSci, Hershey, PA, 2007.Google Scholar
  14. Luciano Floridi. Information Ethics: On the Philosophical Foundation of Computer Ethics. Ethics and Information Technology, 1(1): 37–56, 1999a.Google Scholar
  15. Luciano Floridi. Philosophy and Computing: An Introduction. Routledge, London, 1999b.MATHGoogle Scholar
  16. Luciano Floridi. What is the Philosophy of Information? Metaphilosophy (33:1/2), 2002a. Special Issue: Cyberphilosophy: The Intersection of Philosophy and Computing. edited by J.H. Moor and T.W. Bynum, pp. 123–145.Google Scholar
  17. Luciano Floridi. On the Intrinsic Value of Information Objects and the Infosphere. Ethics and Information Technology, 4(4): 287–304, 2002b.Google Scholar
  18. Luciano Floridi. Information Ethics, its Nature and Scope. SIGCAS Computers and Society, 36(3): 21–36, 2006a.Google Scholar
  19. Luciano Floridi. Information Technologies and the Tragedy of the Good Will. Ethics and Information Technology, 8(4): 253–262, 2006b.Google Scholar
  20. Luciano Floridi. Four Challenges for a Theory of Informational Privacy. Ethics and Information Technology, 8(3): 109–119, 2006c.Google Scholar
  21. Luciano Floridi. Global Information Ethics: The Importance of Being Environmentally Earnest. International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction, 3(3): 1–12, 2007.Google Scholar
  22. Luciano Floridi and J.W. Sanders. Mapping the Foundationalist Debate in Computer Ethics. Ethics and Information Technology, 4(1): 1–9, 2002.Google Scholar
  23. Luciano Floridi and J.W. Sanders. On the Morality of Artificial Agents. Minds and Machines, 14(3): 349–379, 2004.Google Scholar
  24. Warren French, Christian Häßlein and Robert van Es. Constructivist Negotiation Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 39: 83–90, 2002.Google Scholar
  25. Jürgen Habermas. Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns–volume I/II, 1981.Google Scholar
  26. Jürgen Habermas. Moralbewußtsein und kommunikatives Handeln. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a. M., 1983.Google Scholar
  27. Jürgen Habermas. Erläuterungen zur Diskursethik. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a. M., 1991.Google Scholar
  28. Jürgen Habermas. Die Einbeziehung des Anderen-Studien zur politischen Theorie. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a. M., 1996.Google Scholar
  29. Jürgen Habermas. Faktizität und Geltung: Beiträge zur Diskurstheorie des Rechts und des demokratischen Rechtsstaats. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a. M., 1998.Google Scholar
  30. Heiner Hastedt. Aufklärung und Technik. Grundprobleme einer Ethik der Technik. Suhrkamp Taschenbuch Wissenschaft, Frankfurt a. M., 1994.Google Scholar
  31. Martin Heidegger. Sein und Zeit, 17th ed. Max Niemeyer Verlag, Tübingen, 1993.Google Scholar
  32. Michael. S. H. Heng and Aldo de Moor. From Habermas’s Communicative Theory to Practice on the Internet. Information Systems Journal, 13: 331–352, 2003.Google Scholar
  33. Otfried Höffe. Moral als Preis der Moderne: ein Versuch über Wissenschaft, Technik und Umwelt, 3rd ed. Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 1995.Google Scholar
  34. Otfried Höffe. Immanuel Kant, 4th ed. Becksche Reihe Denker, München, 1996.Google Scholar
  35. Axel Honneth. Verdinglichung. Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2005.Google Scholar
  36. Debra Howcroft and Eileen M. Trauth, editors. Handbook of Critical Information Systems Research: Theory and Application. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2005.Google Scholar
  37. Immanuel Kant. Kritik der praktischen Vernunft, Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten. Suhrkamp Taschenbuch Wissenschaft, Frankfurt a. M., [1788] 1995.Google Scholar
  38. Lawrence Kohlberg. The Philosophy of Moral Development – Moral Stages and the Idea of Justice. Harper & Row, Publishers, San Francisco et al., 1981.Google Scholar
  39. Kay Mathiesen. What is Information Ethics? SIGCAS Computers and Society, 34(1): 6–15, 2004.Google Scholar
  40. James H. Moor. Just Consequentialism and Computing. In Richard A. Spinello and Herman T. Tavani, editors, Readings in Cyberethics, pages 98–104. Jones and Bartlett, Sudbury, Massachusetts et al., 2001.Google Scholar
  41. James H. Moor. Reason, Relativity, and Responsibility in Computer Ethics. In Terrel W. Bynum and Simon Rogerson, editors, Computer Ethics and Professional Responsibility, pages 21–38. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford et al., 2004.Google Scholar
  42. Mark Poster. What’s the Matter with the Internet. University of Minnesota Press, Minnesota, 2001.Google Scholar
  43. Paul Ricoeur. Ethique et morale. In Paul Ricoeur, editor, Lectures 1-Autour du politique, pages 256–269. Seuil, Paris, 1991.Google Scholar
  44. Mikko Siponen. A Pragmatic Evaluation of the Theory of Information Ethcis. Ethics and Information Technology, 6(4): 279–290, 2004.Google Scholar
  45. Richard Spinello. Cyberethics: Morality and Law in Cyberspace. Jones and Bartlett, London, 2000.Google Scholar
  46. Bernd Carsten Stahl. Responsible Management of Information Systems. Idea Group Publishing, Hershey, PA, 2004.Google Scholar
  47. Bernd Carsten Stahl. Responsible Computers? A Case for Ascribing Quasi-Responsibility to Computers Independent of Personhood or Agency. Ethics and Information Technology 8(4), 2006a. Special Issue on “Information Ethics: Agents, Artifacts and New Cultural Perspectives”, edited by Luciano Floridi and Julian Savulescu, pp. 205–213.Google Scholar
  48. Bernd Carsten Stahl. On the Difference or Equality of Information, Misinformation, and Disinformation: A Critical Perspective. Informing Science Journal 9: 83–96, 2006b (Available at http://inform.nu/Articles/Vol9/v9p083-096Stahl65.pdf).
  49. Bernd Carsten Stahl. Information Systems: Critical Perspectives. Routledge, London, 2008.Google Scholar
  50. Tadashi Takenouchi. Capurro’s Hermeneutic Approach to Information Ethics: Ethos in the Information Society and the Development of “angeletics”. International Journal of Information Ethics, 2004 (http://ijie.zkm.de/: 1–8 Accessed July 23, 2004).
  51. Herman Tavani. Ethics & Technology: Ethical Issues in an Age of Information and Communication Technology. Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, 2004.Google Scholar
  52. Peter Ulrich. Integrative Wirtschaftsethik-Grundlagen einer lebensdienlichen Ökonomie. Haupt, Bern, Stuttgart, Wien, 1997.Google Scholar
  53. Éric Weil. Philosophie morale. Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, cinquième Édition Paris, 1960.Google Scholar
  54. Albrecht Wellmer. Ethik und Dialog Elemente des moralischen Urteils bei Kant und in der Diskursethik. Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 1986.Google Scholar
  55. Patricia Werhane. Persons, Rights, and Corporations. Prentice-Hall Inc, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1985.Google Scholar
  56. Fahri Yetim. Acting with Genres: Discursive-Ethical Concepts for Reflecting on and Legitimating Genres. European Journal of Information Systems, 15(1): 54–69, 2006.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.De Montfort UniversityLeicesterEngland

Personalised recommendations