Abstract - The Information Society 25(3)

Floridi’s Philosophy of Information and Information Ethics: Current Perspectives, Future Directions

Charles Ess

In order to evaluate Floridi’s Philosophy of Information (PI) and correlative Information Ethics (IE) as potential frameworks for a global Information and Computing Ethics (ICE), I review a range of important criticisms, defenses, and extensions of PI and IE, along with Floridi’s responses to these, as gathered together in a recent special issue of Ethics and Information Technology. A revised and expanded version of PI and IE emerges here, one that brings to the foreground PI’s status as a philosophical naturalism – one with both current application and important potential in the specific domains of privacy and information law. Further, the pluralism already articulated by Floridi in his PI is now more explicitly coupled with an ethical pluralism in IE that will be enhanced through IE’s further incorporation of Discourse Ethics. In this form, PI and IE emerge as still more robust frameworks for a global ICE: in this form, however, they also profoundly challenge modern Western assumptions regarding reality, the self and our ethical obligations.


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