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The moral significance of the internet in information: Reflections on a fundamental moral right to information

Kenneth Einar Himma (Department of Philosophy, Seattle Pacific University, WA, USA)

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Article publication date: 30 November 2004

Abstract

I consider the foundational issue of whether we have a right to information that is fundamental in being independent of other rights and general in protecting all information. To this end, I distinguish two kinds of morally relevant value an entity might have, i.e. intrinsic and instrumental value, and explain the role that each has in determining whether a person has a fundamental moral interest in that entity. Next, I argue that, by itself, the claim that some entity E has an informative nature does not justify believing that E has either intrinsic value or instrumental value. Accordingly, I conclude that whatever protection morality provides to our interests in information, such protection does not rise to the level of a right that is either general in the sense that it applies to all information or fundamental in the sense that it is not derived from other more basic rights.

Keywords

Citation

Einar Himma, K. (2004), "The moral significance of the internet in information: Reflections on a fundamental moral right to information", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 2 No. 4, pp. 191-201. https://doi.org/10.1108/14779960480000252

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited