Toward a political philosophy of information

Kay Mathiesen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Many of the most pressing issues in information ethics—informational privacy, surveillance, intellectual property, access to information, and the distribution of information resources—can only be addressed at the level of global politics. This paper develops an approach to theorizing about political questions of concern to information ethics. It begins by situating a political philosophy of information within the broader field of ethics and defending a theoretical approach that is practical, person-centered, and pluralistic. The method of dialogic public reason, as articulated by John Rawls and supplemented with insights from Jürgen Habermas, is described and defended. It is argued that dialogic public reason provides a way to justify political principles in a diverse global context. The paper concludes by relating the idea of dialogic public reason to international human rights. The putative human right to intellectual property is criticized on the grounds that it does not pass the test of public reason.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-447
Number of pages21
JournalLibrary Trends
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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