The paper presents, firstly, a brief review of the long history of information ethics beginning with the Greek concept of parrhesia or freedom of speech as analyzed by Michel Foucault. The recent concept of information ethics is related particularly to problems which arose in the last century with the development of computer technology and the internet. A broader concept of information ethics as dealing with the digital reconstruction of all possible phenomena leads to questions relating to digital ontology. Following HeideggerÕs conception of the relation between ontology and metaphysics, the author argues that ontology has to do with Being itself and not just with the Being of beings which is the matter of metaphysics. The primary aim of an ontological foundation of information ethics is to question the metaphysical ambitions of digital ontology understood as todayÕs pervading understanding of Being. The author analyzes some challenges of digital technology, particularly with regard to the moral status of digital agents. The author argues that information ethics does not only deal with ethical questions relating to the infosphere. This view is contrasted with arguments presented by Luciano Floridi on the foundation of information ethics as well as on the moral status of digital agents. It is argued that a reductionist view of the human body as digital data overlooks the limits of digital ontology and gives up one basis for ethical orientation. Finally issues related to the digital divide as well as to intercultural aspects of information ethics are explored -and long and short-term agendas for appropriate responses are presented.
This paper deals with intercultural aspects of privacy, particularly with regard to differences between Japanese and Western conceptions. It starts with a reconstruction of the genealogy of Western subjectivity and human dignity as the basic assumptions underlying Western views on privacy. An analysis of the Western concept of informational privacy is presented. The Japanese topic of ''denial of self'' (Musi) as well as the concepts of Seken, Shakai and Ikai (as analyzed by the authors of the companion piece on privacy in Japan) give rise to intercultural comparisons. The paper addresses the question of privacy in cyberspace and mass media. Finally the question of freedom of speech is related to the Japanese concepts of Ohyake and Watakusi.
The paper addresses theoretical and practical aspects of information ethics from an intercultural perspective. The first part deals with the paradigm shift within philosophy itself towards what is being called intercultural philosophy. This paradigm provides the framework for intercultural ethics. One main point of the ongoing discussion in the field of intercultural ethics is the question of universality. The second part of the paper deals with the quest for an intercultural information ethics. Some of the main points of the discussions on intercultural and ethical issues at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), particularly the question of a human right to communicate as well as the question of cultural diversity, are presented. A brief report on the evolution of the concept of globalization is given. Some case studies and best practices on intercultural information ethics are outlined. Finally the classic opposition between culture (nomos) and nature (physis) is used in order to point to the limits of the intercultural and of the universalistic discourses.
O conceito de informação como usado na linguagem cotidiana, no sentido de conhecimento comunicado, tem um importante papel na sociedade contemporânea. Este conceito ganhou relevância principalmente a partir do final da Segunda Guerra mundial com a disseminação global do uso das redes de computadores. O nascimento da ciência da informação (CI), em meados dos anos cinqüenta, testemunha este fato. Para uma ciência, assim como para a CI, é sem dúvida, importante como seus termos fundamentais são definidos, e em CI, como em outros campos, geralmente é colocado o problema sobre como definir informação. Esta revisão é uma tentativa de traçar um panorama sobre a situação presente do conceito de informação em CI na perspectiva também de suas relações interdisciplinares.
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