This provides, I believe, an experimental and theoretical frame of reference for different ethical theories and practices, which is not a metaphysical ground. Buddhism, for instance, experiences the world in all its transitoriness in a mood of sadness and happiness being also deeply moved by suffering.
Baier is also well aware of the danger of building stereotypes particularly when dealing with the differences between East and West considering for instance the search for harmony as an apparently typical and unique mood of Asian cultures or the opposition between collectivity and individuality. As there are no absolute differences between cultures there are also no exclusive moods.
For a sound future intercultural methodology Baier suggests that we look for the textual basis from literature, art, religion and everyday culture and to pay attention to complex phenomena and to the interaction between moods and world understanding. I would like to add also the role of legal and political institutions as well as the historical and geographical settings in which these experiences are located.
If there is a danger of building stereotypes, there is also one of overlooking not only concrete or ontic but also structural or ontological differences by claiming a world culture that mostly reflects the interests and global life style of a small portion of humanity. From this perspective, moral cognitivism and non-cognitivism are partial views of human existence which is grounded on moods and understanding. Normative moral subjectivism takes for granted that individuals can be conceived as separated from their being-in-the-world with others, i.
Beliefs, institutions, and practices of cultures give a long term stability to such claims and make them obvious. Cultural frameworks are not conceived as closed worlds but as grounded in common affective human experiences of sharing a finite existence in a common world. In other words, the ontic differences between human cultures are refractions of the common world awareness. Every effort to determine the nature of this awareness gives rise to different experiences and interpretations. We speak of multicultural ethics in case we juxtapose such interpretations instead of comparing them.
The opposite is a mono-cultural view that conceives itself as the only valid one. He analyzes the connections of such an ethical pluralism between contemporary Western ethics and Confucian thought. Both traditions invoke notions of resonance and harmony to articulate pluralistic structures of connection alongside irreducible differences. Ess explores such a pros hen pluralism in Eastern and Western conceptions of privacy and data privacy protection.
This kind of pluralism is the opposite to a purely modus vivendi pluralism that leaves tensions and conflicts unresolved and giving thus rise to a cycle of violence. Another more robust form of pluralism presupposes a shared set of ethical norms and standards but without overcoming deeply contradictions.
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An even stronger form of pluralism does not search identity but only some kind of coherence or, as Ess suggests, complementarity between two irreducible different entities. The problem with this position is that it still asks for some kind of unity between irreducible positions. In order to make this goal plausible and somehow rational one must show where the possible focus that allows complementary lies.
This is a similar problem as the one raised by Thomas Kuhn concerning the question of the incommensurability of scientific theories arising from a paradigm change through scientific revolutions Kuhn I think that irreducible positions cannot be logically reduced to some kind of complementarity but it may be a deeper experimental source of unity such as the one I suggested at the beginning that is beyond the sphere of ontic or, to put it in Kantian terms, categorial oppositions. I believe that the facticity and uniqueness of the world and human life offers an empirical hothen dimension if not for overcoming categorial differences at least for a dialogue on cognitive-emotive fundamental experiences of our common being in the world Eldred There are pitfalls of prima facie convergences, analogies and family resemblances that may be oversimplified by a pros hen strategy.
In many cases we should try to dig into deeper layers in order to understand where these claims originate or simply accept the limits of human theoretical reason by celebrating the richness of human experience. In his critical response to Charles Ess, Kei Hiruta questions the necessity and desirability of pros hen pluralism. The problem with Socratic dialogue is that it is based on the spirit of parrhesia which is a key feature of Western philosophy. I come back to this issue. In other words, the Buddhist stance teaches us, Westerners, another strategy beyond the controversy between monism and pluralism, by way of a different kind of practice than the Socratic dialogue.
This terminological and conceptual difference has been proposed, for instance, by sociologist Niklas Luhmann , being also broadly used in Western ethics. The universal application of Western ethics means that the discussion on morality would take place only on the basis of Western conceptual schemes.
Consequently, what is morally good for one information society may be considered as less appropriate in another one. Although Bynum welcomes different ethical traditions, he is well aware that some of them would not be compatible with General FE. Following the ethical thought of Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, Bernd Frohmann proposes a philosophical interrogation of the local effects of the Internet through three main concepts: effect, locality, and ethics Frohmann Accordi n g to Magnani, there is evidence that technical instruments such as cell phones and laptops vary significantly in their use according to cultural differences.
ICTs can enhance but also jeopardize local cultures. Thomas Herdin, Wolfgang Hofkirchner and Ursula Maier-Rabler discuss the mutual influence between culture and technology on a broad inter- and transcultural level. As a result of these diverse dimensions, a continuum between the poles of information-friendly vs. They suggest that this concept should be enhanced with regard to the permeability between global and local cultures, allowing individuals to switch between different identities. They discuss the dialectic of shaping, diffusion, and usage of ICTs along the following dimensions: digital content culture, digital distribution culture, and digital context culture.
Cultural universalism reduces the variety of different cultural identities to what they have in common. According to Barbara Paterson, the computer revolution not only threatens to marginalize non-Western cultural traditions, but the Western way of life also has caused large-scale environmental damage Paterson The task of computer ethics being to critically analize such holistic effects. She proposes that the Earth Charter can function as a framework for such holistic research as it addresses, unlike the WSIS declaration, a broader public.
The ethical obligation to respect the difference and plurality of belief systems is grounded, according to Hausmanninger, in picturing human beings as persons or subjectivities owing to each other the right to free self-realization. What has to be respected in order to respect human dignity may differ between cultures.
The task to encompassing it with other endeavours remains open. The power of networks does not lead necessarily to slavery and oppression but also to reciprocity and mutual obligation. Globalisation gives rise to the question of what does locally matter. The boundaries of language against which we are driven appear now as the boundaries of digital networks which not only pervade but accelerate all relationships between humans as well as between all kinds of natural phenomena and artificial things.
For a more detailed analysis of the relation between moods and understanding with explicit relation to the information society see Capurro , Wurman The task of IIE, understood as a reflection on morality, is not only to bridge these differences creating common moral codes but to try to articulate and understand them as well.
In my introductory paper to the ICIE symposium, I situate IIE within the framework of intercultural philosophy and analyze the question of universality with special regard to the WSIS discussions, particularly to the question of the human right to communicate and the right to cultural diversity. A purely meta-cultural information ethics remains abstract if it is not inter-culturally reflected.
I have developed this difference with regard to Confucian and Daoist thought and their relevance for the development of the Chinese information society Capurro a. I point to the fact that the debate on an ontological foundation of information ethics, its questions, terminology and aim, is deeply rooted in Western philosophy so far Capurro , As Susan Sontag suggests, the task of the translator can be seen as an ethical task if we conceive it as the experience of the otherness of other languages that moves us to transform our mother tongue — including the terminologies used by different philosophic schools — instead of just preserving it from foreign or, as I would say, heretic influences Sontag The ICIE symposium addressed the question of how embodied human life is possible within local cultural traditions and the horizon of a global digital environment.
This topic with its normative and formative dimensions was discussed in three different perspectives, namely: Internet for social and political development, Internet for cultural development and Internet for economic development. The symposium dealt with questions such as: How far does the Internet affect, for the better or the worse, local community building? How far does it allow democratic consultation? How do people construct their lives within this medium and how does it affect their customs, languages, and everyday problems?
It also dealt with the impact of the Internet in traditional media, on cultural and economic development as well as on the environment. Asia and the Pacific. They point to the cultural and linguistic diversity of countries in Asia and the Pacific where governments have established either a monopolistic model of development under their strict control or one that opens ICT infrastructure to private and international organizations. The global network involves a tension between cultural homogenization and heterogenization that can lead to increased fragmentation as well as increased homogenization.
They believe that there are good reasons why cyberspace should not be homogenized. Even if cultural sovereignty may disappear along with national borders, the particulars of cultural autonomy should be preserved. According to the empirical evaluation, it seems as if Japanese live in a world consisting of old Japan Seken and new Japan Shakai See the discussion below on privacy in Japan. Japanese present information society debates on how far mastering IT skills will allow social participation of the handicapped or create a gap.
This minimum set includes three basic principles namely information justice, information equality, and information reciprocity. Latin America and the Caribbean. According to Pimienta these models of communication are not the same in different parts of the world. Not much has been published on the challenges to African philosophy arising from the impact of ICT on African societies and cultures.
In my keynote address I explore some relationships between information ethics and the concept of ubuntu. Capurro a. One of the few detailed analysis of the relationship between ubuntu and privacy was presented by H.
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Olinger, Johannes Britz and M. Accordingly, it is ubuntu which constitutes the core meaning of the aphorism. Following this analysis we can ask: what is the role of ubuntu in African information ethics? What is the relation between community and privacy in African information society? What kind of questions do African people ask about the effects of information and communication technology in their everyday lives?
This conference was unique in several respects. First, it dealt with information ethics in Africa from an African perspective.
Second, it encouraged African scholars to articulate the challenges of a genuine African information society. Maja van der Velden analyzes how far the preoccupation with content and connectivity obscures the role of IT by making invisible different ways of knowing and other logics and experiences van der Velden She presents an aboriginal database in Northern Australia useful for people with little or no literacy skills. Even the Western-oriented population do not see, for instance, an ethical issue in copying intellectual property.
The Internet revolution is felt in a delayed fashion in Turkey, which means that the digital divide became a serious problem. Privacy is a key question as it deals with basic conceptions of the human person. This cultural and moral change concerns mainly three aspects: 1 Individual freedom is not any more a taboo topic.
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With the rise of the Internet in the s the question of data privacy emerged in China. The last two principles take society as the higher value. But also all published papers on information ethics dealing with privacy interpret it as an instrumental instead as an intrinsic good. Chinese researchers argue that privacy protection has a function with regard to social order.
Although many Chinese still think that there is no right to privacy within the family, a survey among the young generation shows the opposite interest. Krisana Kitiyadisai explores the changes of the concept of privacy in Thai culture, based on collectivism and non-confrontation Kitiyadisai The lack of a Thai word for privacy is due, according to Kitiyadisai, to the feudal heritage of Thai society with a system of hierarchical ranking, politeness protocols and patronage.
Kitiyadisai provides an overview of the data protection legislation in Thailand. Soraj Hongladarom describes a grave challenge to the privacy of Thai citizens. The Thai government plans to introduce a digital national identification card in a country with no specific law protecting personal information.
The threat of political misuse raises the question on the nature of privacy and its justification. Hongladarom explores this question from the perspective of two famous Budhhist sages, namely Nagarjuna c. The fact that Buddhism rejects the individual self does not mean that it rejects privacy. In order to understand this counterintuitive argument Hongladarom distinguish between the absolute and conventional level of assertion.
From an absolute point there is no distinction between subject and object. If there is no inherently existing self then privacy is grounded on the conventional idea that it is necessary for democracy which means that privacy has an instrumental instead of an intrinsic or core value. Privacy as used in everyday life, is not denied in Buddhism. It is in fact justified as an instrument for the purpose of living harmoniously according to democratic ideals. All want to get rid of suffering, and all do want happiness. Pirongrong Ramasoota Rananand examines information privacy in Thai society.
She presents an overview of privacy and data protection in Thai legislation. Pattarasinee Bhattarakosol indicates that there are various factors related to the development of IT ethics in Thailand, one main factor being family background. Given the fact that Thai culture is part of religion, the author concludes that religion is the only antidote to the present ethical challenges. It is a pity that the constraints of Western monologic academic culture did not allow the publication this original dialogical essay. According to Nakada and Tamura, Japanese people live in a three-fold world, namely Shakai or the world influenced by Western values, Seken or the traditional and indigenous worldview, and Ikai which is a world from evils, disasters and crime seem to emerge.
On the basis of the analysis of the way an homicide was portrayed in the quality newspaper Asahi Shimbum, Nakada and Tamura show the ambiguities of the concept of privacy in modern Japan. Living in three worlds creates a kind of discontinuous identity that is very different from Western metaphysical dichotomies as I show in my contribution to this inter-cultural dialogue Capurro a.
It follows from this that for Japanese people private things are less worthy than public ones. But our modern dichotomy between the public and the private sphere offers only loosely parallels to the Japanese distinction between Ohyake public and Watakusi private. In other words, there are two axes and they are intermixed.
This is, I believe, another outstanding example of cultural hybridization that gives rise to a complex inter-cultural ethical analysis. Our being-in-the-networked-world is not based on the principle of autonomy but also on the principle of solidarity. As an example I present the discussion of data privacy in Germany since that lead to the principle of informational privacy. Without becoming Easternized, we now speak of privacy in reference to communities, not just to isolated subjects. Behind a conceptual analysis there is the history of societies with its correspondent cognitive-emotional perceptions of the world, i.
Intellectual Property. Dan Burk examines the question of intellectual property from the perspective of utilitarian and deontological traditions in the United States and Europe in contrast to some non-Western approaches Burk The industries supporting copyright usually make the case for public benefit arising from the incentives offered by such constraints. According to Burk, two similar models of privacy regulation have emerged.
In China, the Confucian tradition largely denied the value of novel creative contribution by instead promoting the respect for the classical work that should be emulated. Under this perspective, copying becomes a cardinal virtue. For New Zealand Maori, creative works belong to the tribe or group, not to a single author. Similarly, among some sub-Saharan communities as well as in the case of many Native American tribes the control of cultural property may be restricted to certain families.
In line with arguments by Lawrence Lessig, Wolfgang Coy explores the question of sharing intellectual properties in global communities from a historical point of view. Through there is a growing interest in commercially useful intellectual artifacts, there are still vast unregulated areas, for instance, native cultural practices, including regional cooking, natural healing, and use of herbal remedies Coy Free networks are guided by the idea of the commons and the principle of sharing and participating in contrast to a closed conception of location as the negation of freedom.
According to Introna the boundary between the insiders and the outsiders must continually remain unsettled. But virtuality may also function to confirm them Introna Frances Grodzinsky and Herman Tavani examine some pros and cons of online communities particularly with regard to the digital divide and its effects at the local level, i. He argues that the emergence of new forms of informational empowerment do not function independently from the informational practices that make them possible and, thus, need to be understood less as an absolute gain of freedom and more as the way freedom and power are continually produced and reproduced as processes of governmentality.
He analyzes the significance of these tools in connection with significant changes in retirement and pension programs in the United States and other Western countries. Britta Schinzel criticises common attitudes within the computer professions and the working cultures in which they develop. Alternative perspectives for responsible technological action may be derived from feminist situational, welfare-based- close-range ethics or micro-ethics Schinzel The author draws insights from Western as well as from East Asian classical philosophy.
Theptawee Chokvasin shows how the condition of self-government arising from hi-tech mobilization affects Thai culture Chokvasin Buddhism encourages us to detach ourselves from our selves, the self having no existence of its own.
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Autonomy means to adjust oneself to the right course of living. According to Chokvasin this Buddhist concept of autonomy can only be conceived by those who know the Buddhist teachings dhamma. There is a kind of freedom in the Buddhist concept of autonomy that is related to impermanence Anitya , suffering Duhkha and not-self Anatta. Not clinging to our individual selves is the condition of possibility for moral behavior, i.
Richard Spinello argues that all regulators, but especially those in developing countries, should refrain from imposing any regulations on IP telephony intended to protect a state-sponsored telecomm and its legacy systems Spinello In their analysis of cross-cultural ethical issues of the current and future state of ICT deployment and utilization in healthcare, Bernd Stahl, Simon Rogerson and Amin Kashmeery argue that the ethical implications of such applications are multifaceted and have diverse degrees of sensitivity from culture to culture Stahl, Rogerson, Kashmeery For the purpose of this study, culture is being defined as the totality of shared meanings and interpretations.
This means that cultures contain an idea of how things should be and how its members are expected to behave. The authors see a close link between culture and technology starting with agricultural cultures and, nowadays, with the importance of ICT for our culture s. Applications of ICT in healthcare raise not only a policy but also an ethics vacuum that becomes manifest in the debate on values-based practice VBP vs. The authors analyze cases of Western and non-Western cultures in order to show the complexity of the issues they deal with. British culture is an example of Western liberalism, utilitarianism, and modernism that is fundamentally appreciative of new technologies.
This modernist view overlooks the pitfalls of healthcare as a complex system with conflicting actors and interests. The authors present six scenarios in order to give an idea of such ethical conflicts when dealing with ICT in health care. According to Kvasny, the increased physical access to ICT does not signal the closure of the digital divide in the US. We produce discourses that discount their values and cultures and show them why they need to catch up.
In other words, she refuses the instrumental depiction of the digital divide Himma IIE is an emerging discipline. The present debate shows a variety of foundational perspectives as well as a preference for the narrow view that focuses IIE on ICT. Consequently comparative studies with other media and epochs are mostly not being considered so far. Asia and the Pacific is represented by Japan, China and Thailand.
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Latin America and Africa are still underrepresented. I plea for the enlargement of the historical scope of our field beyond the limited horizon of the present digital infospheres even if such a view is not an easy task for research. IIE is in this regard no less complex than, say, comparative literature. The present debate emphazises the question of privacy but other issues such as online communities, governmentality, gender issues, mobile phones, health care, and, last but not least, the digital divide are on the agenda.
New issues such as blogs and wikis are arising within what is being called Web 2. We have to deepen the foundational debate on the sources of morality from a IIE perspective. IIE has a critical task to achieve when it compares information moralities. This concerns the ontological or structural as well as the ontic or empirical levels of analysis.
One important issue in this regard is the question of the universality of values vs. African Information Ethics Conference International Review of Information Ethics, 7. Baier, Karl Welterschliessung durch Grundstimmungen als Problem interkultureller Phaenomenologie. Daseinsanalyse 22 , Bhattarakosol, Pattarasinee Hershey, Pennsylvania: Idea Group, Britz, Johannes Ethical aspects in intercultural perspective. Munich: Fink, Burk, Dan L. Bynum, Terrell Ward Complex issues of benefit and risk, screening for disease, and risk factors must be carefully handled to avoid misunderstanding and misrepresentation.
Cultural conceptions must be respected, even when there is no scientific basis in fact. Resolution may be necessary between the interests of individuals and the interests of society. Scientific information must be placed in context and information not withheld for journalists; for example, it would be misleading to not mention that the study and results on lung cancer were funded by the Tobacco Industry.
Mass media presentation of scientific information must be accurate, clear, accountable, honest, and decent. Readers should be considered as capable of making rational decisions based on true, accurate, and sufficient information. Sources should be checked for reputation of the individual and reliability. Complete candor and full sets of information should be given to the press, even though in some cases the physician may not tell the patient the whole truth.
Impairment in people's ability to make informed decisions may occur with too many reports of beneficial treatments, neglect of risky treatments, and overstatement of risks associated with drugs and medical devices. Essential advice can be ignored, when excessive health information is provided.