OnLife Manifesto Webinar. Luciano Floridi

ICTs blur the divide between online and offline in favour of an onlife experience. By doing so, they emphasise trust, privacy, transparency, openness, neutrality, intellectual property right, and so forth. These and other similar phenomena are probably better understood in terms of an infrastructure that is there to facilitate or hinder the moral or immoral behaviour of the agents involved. By placing our informational interactions at the centre of our onlife, ICTs seem to have uncovered something that, of course, has always been there, but less visibly so in the past: the fact that moral behaviour is also a matter of “ethical infrastructure” or simply infraethics. As business and administration systems in an economically mature society increasingly require physical infrastructures (transport, communication, services etc.), so too human interactions in an informationally mature society increasingly require an infraethics.

Any complex society has an implicit infraethics, which can be more or less successful, and more or less evil-unfriendly. Theoretically, even a society of angels, that is, of impeccably moral agents, needs infraethical rules for coordination and collaboration. So how can we design the successful facilitations and constraints provided by the right infraethics? Is it possible to build a coherent system of good infraethical rules and morally good values, such as civil rights? Why, for example, is it so difficult to balance security and privacy?


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27.06.2013 · 07:03

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