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The Gardener, the Dentist, and the Long-Jumper: Ethics in the Age of Information

26 Nov 2013

Professor Luciano Floridi discusses the nature and scope of Information Ethics, the philosophical area of research that investigates the ethical impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on human life and society. He seeks to provide the conceptual foundations of Information Ethics using the metaphors of the gardener, the dentist, and the long-jumper: the gardener represents where philosophy happens (at the roots), the dentist when philosophy happens (always at the very last moment), and the long-jumper how philosophy happens (first through walking in the opposite direction). Floridi advocates for an ethical system where the patient, rather than the agent, is at the centre of analysis, in the same vein as environmental and medical ethics.