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Topic Ethics in the Information Society
Participants | Zoraida Mendiwelso | German Bula | Keith Pheby | Roberto Zarama |
Critics | Pete Barnsley | David Best | Alfonso Reyes | Clas-Otto Wene |

Meeting 1 NotesMeeting 2 Notes

Meeting 3 Notes

Outcome Resolve

Co-ordinator = Keith Pheby

Date: 10 July Time: 18:50 to 19:50 Facilitators: Delia & Hector


  • We can try to summarise our interests in this group by raising three main concerns. The first one is our concern with the development of ethics nowadays because we believe that its current discourse has collapsed and needs a radical reform. The second concern is with the relation between ICT and ethics and this can be addressed in two ways. The first is to understand how ICT affects our behaviour and the second how ICT can help us to develop a more ethical society. The third concern is about the opposite relation between ethics and ICT. This last concern point to the question of understanding how our current new society that is emerging through an ever increase use of ICT is developing with a particular ethics.
  • Perhaps we could keep just two levels indicated by the mutual relation between ethics and ICT.
  • If we take into account our cultural backgrounds for the developing of a new ethical discourse we could try to map the archaeology of ethical discourse as a research programme itself to understand how is it embedded in our current cultural milieu.
  • If we regard ethics as a referential framework to discriminate between a "right" behaviour and a "wrong" behaviour, then we can also approach the issue of accountability of our actions.


  • What about the issues of rights and individuals responsibility, you have not addressed that yet except in the point about accountability.
  • Ethics, for me, is only personal; it is a-categorical in the sense not to the person but as a reference signal in the person. Methodologically that implies that we always try for co-existence of differences. We try to maximise the space for the coexistence of these ethically simple entity beings. This means that ICT, in terms of the techno sphere, might serve as a mean for the first time in communicating such things as the co-existence of differences. 


  • All our ethics so far is based on the notion that some how it is fixed and individually fixed or fix to the individual subject. What I see ICT is doing is giving us the possibility of reconfigure ourselves; a reconfiguration that is qualitatively different and the ethics must address this.
  • It seems to me that there are two fundamental differences between trying to determine some set of external ethical values as opposed to set a procedure by which individuals may get in contact to develop their own ethics.
  • The reconfiguration of the self needs another dimension of the concept of autonomy, one that goes beyond self-regulation to include self-construction.
  • It is clear that the possibility of the recognition of otherness could be enhanced by the use of ICT.
  • There is another issue that perhaps we need to address in regarding ethics and ICT and this is the question of trust. This is a particularly important issue regarding the content and the authoring of many texts and claims that have been put through the Internet, recently.