Monday, December 05, 2005

INFO679: Lecture 1-- Information Ethics in the News--Nature, Humanity, and Technology

INFO679: Information Ethics
Lecture 1: Information Ethics in the News

Welcome to Information Ethics. We'll start our course by exploring some of the hot information ethics issues in the news today and consider some of the thinking tools that we'll be using throughout the term.

  • My approach to the field is very descriptive rather than normative. That means that first we will learn about what is happening in the real world and how different people, organizations, and governments are responding to the issues. Later on we'll consider the normative side of applied ethics. The normative side seeks to define the rules and practices that are the most morally justified. You may want to consults the basic online philosophy sources from the Hagerty Library ( when you need to understand the terminology. The plus, of course, is that you will be using online, digital reference sources.


One resources is the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online. From the intro:
"Welcome to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online, or REP Online - your dynamic online resource for researching, teaching and studying in the philosophy arena and related disciplines.
·More than 2000 articles, from Aristotle to Nominalism and from Personal Identity to Zeno of Elea·Over 100 new articles added since launch of REP Online in 2000·October 2005"
Now A Few Hot Topics: (Look in your local newspapers and magazines for articles in these areas.)

  • Intellectual Property Rights vs. Intellectual Freedom
  • Privacy: Personal and Public Implications
  • Information Use for National Security
  • The Global Digital Divide
  • Regulating the Internet--Filtering and More
  • The Uses of Information for Genetics
  • The Open Source Movement

******See below a list of the concepts I'll be using throughout the term. I've noted where you will find the sources of these concepts and terms.*****

Terminology and Concepts

  • Balancing Three Dimensions: Nature, Humanity, and Technology (See Capurro, Information Technology and Technologies of the Self
  • Major Themes in Information Ethics: Access, Ownership, Privacy, Security, and Community (Smith, 1992)
  • The Ethical Self (Smith, 1992)
  • The Ethical Professional (Smith, 1992)
  • The Global Information Environment (Smith, 1992)
  • Global Information Justice (Smith, 200?)


The Tradition of Librarianship as They Inform Information Ethics

  • Access
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Freedom to Read
  • Privacy and Confidentiality
  • Service
  • Balanced Collections
  • Professional Neutrality
  • Respect for All (including employees)

    This introductory lecture is about some of the thinking tools that will benefit you in this course. There will be more detail as we move along.

No comments: