Project started: Workshop I in Systems Approaches towards Information Ethics

Tomas Sigmund, member of the Emergent Systems Group, works as Assistant Professor at the Department of Systems Analysis that belongs to the Faculty of Informatics and Statistics at the University of Economics, Prague. Currently he is focusing on theoretical systems approaches towards information and computer ethics. Together with Wolfgang Hofkirchner he leads the research project on Systems Approaches towards Information Ethics. Special attention shall be paid to soft systems methodology in comparison to critical thinking based upon realist social accounts in line with Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s General System Theory. Sigmund was co-organizer of a symposium on Sustainability, ethics and the cyberspace at the emcsr 2014 and moderated the ISIS Summit Vienna 2015 track on Emancipation or disempowerment of man.

A three-day workshop started the project in Vienna January 23-27, 2017. Soft Systems Methodology (Checkland) and Critical Systems Heuristics (Ulrich) were investigated as possible tools for dealing with problems arising from privacy issues in the context of the spread of ICTs (information and communication technologies). Information ethics accounts of Capurro, Floridi and Nissenbaum were discussed. Hannah Arendt’s distinction between labour (ponos), work (poiesis) and action (praxis) was referenced in the context of the relationship between private space (oikos) and public space (agora). Arguments from evolutionary theory and realist systems theory topped the agenda off. Areas of intersections and convergence were identified.


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