Ethics and Information Technology

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 205–211 | Cite as

Kant and information ethics

  • Charles EssEmail author
  • May Thorseth


We begin with our reasons for seeking to bring Kant to bear on contemporary information and computing ethics (ICE). We highlight what each contributor to this special issue draws from Kant and then applies to contemporary matters in ICE. We conclude with a summary of what these chapters individually and collectively tell us about Kant’s continuing relevance to these contemporary matters – specifically, with regard to the issues of building trust online and regulating the Internet; how far discourse contributing to deliberative democracy online may include storytelling and appeals to the emotions; and whether or not search engine algorithms should be made public. We further highlight how certain chapters – especially as they incorporate more recent philosophical traditions such as phenomenology and cognitive psychology – develop a Kantian approach (or at least one that is both inspired by while simultaneously transforming Kant) to ethical issues in ICE, including the ethical implications of the on-going blurring of the border between the real and the virtual; designing software in light of distributed ethical responsibility; and trust-building in e-Science collaborations.


cognitive psychology deliberative democracy distributed ethical responsibility e-Science Kant phenomenology regulation search engines trust virtual reality visualizations 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Drury UniversitySpringfieldUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyNTNU Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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