Kant and information ethics

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Hannah Arendt. “Crisis in Culture”. In Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought, pp. 197–226. Meridian, New York, 1968

  2. Seyla Benhabib. Situating the Self. Polity Press, Cambridge, 1992

    Google Scholar 

  3. Lucas Introna and Helen Nissenbaum. Shaping the Web: Why the Politics of Search Engines Matters’. Information Society, 16: 169–185, 2000

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Immanuel Kant. Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals. Hackett Publishing, Indianapolis, 1981 [1785]

  5. Emmanuel Levinas. Totality and Infinity. Duquesne University Press, Pittsburgh, 1969

    Google Scholar 

  6. Knud E. Løgstrup. Den Etiske Fordring. Gyldendal, Copenhagen, 1956

    Google Scholar 

  7. Onora O’Neill. Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2002

    Google Scholar 

  8. William Regh. Reason and Rhetoric in Habermas’ Theory of Argumentation. In Walter Jost, Michael M. Hide, editors, Rhetoric and Hermeneutics in Our Time, pages 358–394. Yale UP, New Haven/London, 1997

    Google Scholar 

  9. Iris Marion Young. Inclusion and Democracy. Oxford UP, Oxford, 2000

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Charles Ess.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ess, C., Thorseth, M. Kant and information ethics. Ethics Inf Technol 10, 205–211 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10676-008-9158-6

Download citation

Keywords

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