Luciano Floridi is the Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information and Director of the Digital Ethics Lab at the University of Oxford His work combines a theoretical perspective of logic and epistemology on the one hand (he was trained as an analytic language philosopher), with a technical perspective based on computer science and information technology on the other. He calls his field the philosophy of information (and computing).
I was drawn to what I later defined as the philosophy of information because, in the late eighties, I was looking for a conceptual framework in which psychologism, introspection, armchair speculations and all those linguistic (or perhaps one should say, Anglo-Saxon, or Indo-European) intuitions could be monitored, tamed and kept under tight control. I shared with Popper a desire for an "epistemology without the knowing subject", as the title of one of his papers declared. The sort of philosophy popular at the time smacked too much of bad metaphysics, a sort of betrayal of the purer and cleaner approach defended by Analytic as well as Neopositivist philosophy, which I admired so much (since then, I have somewhat repented and now I consider myself an ex-analytic philosopher). Since I was interested in epistemology and logic, the move from knowledge to information and from inferential to computational processes was almost natural.The philosophy of information is parallel to philosophy of language, or philosophy of biology, or any "philosophy of." It uses the methods of philosophy to study another field. Information philosophy is to the philosophy of information as linguistic philosophy is to the philosophy of language. Information philosophy is like (but more fundamental than, and thus a foundation for) linguistic philosophy. Information philosophy tries to solve several problems, not by arguing about them verbally with linguistic (and conceptual) analysis, but by analyzing them in terms of the information created, communicated, and destroyed in any process. Information philosophy is a new methodology, a way of doing philosophy, which may throw light on several classical problems in philosophy, and even some in physics. Floridi is particularly interested in information ethics, which might more consistently be called the ethics of information (technology), examining the issues of ethics that arise from proper and improper uses of information technology. By contrast, information philosophy is an attempt to ground an objective cosmic values system on information (or negative entropy) as a sine qua non of any possible good, with its information-theoretic opposite, entropy, as a universal force of destruction or evil.
BibliographyPhilosophy and Computing: An Introduction. London/New York: Routledge, 1999.
The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Computing and Information. (editor) Oxford: Blackwell, 2003.
Philosophy of Computing and Information: 5 Questions. (editor) Automatic Press / VIP, 2008.
Information. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. A volume for the Very Short Introduction series.
The Cambridge Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics. (editor) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
The Philosophy of Information. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
The Fourth Revolution: How the Infosphere is Reshaping Human Reality. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.