THE ETHICS OF INFORMATION

This is the second volume in the tetralogy on the foundations of the philosophy of information. The reader interested in an introduction to its topics may find The Fourth Revolution helpful.

Information ethics is the branch of the philosophy of information that investigates the ethical impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on human life and society.

ICTs have profoundly changed many aspects of life, including the nature of communication, education, work, entertainment, industrial production and business, health care, social relations, and armed conflicts. They have had a radical and widespread influence on our moral lives and on contemporary ethical debates. Examples come readily to mind, from trust online to phone hacking, from the digital divide to a dystopian “surveillance society”, from privacy and freedom of expression to Wikileaks, from artificial companions to cyberwar.

This book is the first monograph entirely and exclusively dedicated to information ethics as a philosophical subject. It lays down the conceptual foundations for this new field. It does so systematically, by pursuing three goals.

The metatheoretical goal is to analyse what information ethics is, its problems, approaches and methods.

The introductory goal is to provide a better grasp of the complex and multifarious nature of the various concepts and phenomena related to information ethics.

The constructive goal is to answer several key questions of ethical interest arising from ICTs, such as the interpretation of privacy, the nature of moral agency when artificial systems are in question, the value of artefacts, or the extension of environmental concerns to synthetic realities.

Related material: