What should we share?: understanding the aim of Intercultural Information Ethics

Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 39 (3):50-58 (2009)
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The aim of Intercultural Information Ethics (IIE), as Ess aptly puts, is to “(a) address both local and global issues evoked by ICTs / CMC, etc., (b) in a ways that both sustain local traditions / values / preference, etc. and (c) provide shared, (quasi-) universal responses to central ethical problems” (Ess 2007a, 102). This formulation of the aim of IIE, however, is not unambiguous. In this paper, I will discuss two different understandings of the aim of IIE, one of which advocates “shared norms, different interpretations” and another proposes “shared norms, different justifications”. I shall argue that the first understanding is untenable, and the second understanding is acceptable only with qualification. Finally, I shall briefly suggest an alternative way to understand the aim of IIE.
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