Knowledge, Technology & Policy

, Volume 23, Issue 1–2, pp 177–192 | Cite as

How to Design the Infosphere: the Fourth Revolution, the Management of the Life Cycle of Information, and Information Ethics as a Macroethics

  • Wolfgang Hofkirchner
Special Issue


The paper reconstructs the read thread that links the information revolution, the information concept and information ethics in Floridi’s philosophy of information. In doing so, it acknowledges the grand attempt but doubts whether this attempt is up to the state of affairs concerning the actual point human history has reached. It contends that the information age is rather conceivable as a critical stage in which human evolution as a whole is at stake. The mastering of this crisis depends on an appropriate shaping of Information and Communication Technologies which requires ethical considerations. In this respect, Floridi’s notion of the fourth revolution, his assumption of the management of the life cycle of information, and his ontocentric macroethics will be discussed in the light of the term “scientific-technological revolution”, the idea of a noogenesis, a new way of thinking and new weltanschauung, the concept of friction in social and physical aspects, the concept of collective intelligence and its application to the Internet and last, but not least, the vision of a Global Sustainable Information Society.


Scientific-technological revolution Noosphere Self-organisation Social friction Collective intelligence Global Sustainable Information Society Meaningful technology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Design and Technology AssessmentVienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria

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