Global ethics for the digital age – flourishing ethics

Kantar N., Bynum T. W.

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, 2021 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1108/jices-01-2021-0016
  • Title of Journal : Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society


© 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore an emerging ethical theory for the Digital Age – Flourishing Ethics – which will likely be applicable in many different cultures worldwide, addressing not only human concerns but also activities, decisions and consequences of robots, cyborgs, artificially intelligent agents and other new digital technologies. Design/methodology/approach: In the past, a number of influential ethical theories in Western philosophy have focused upon choice and autonomy, or pleasure and pain or fairness and justice. These are important ethical concepts, but we consider “flourishing” to be a broader “umbrella concept” under which all of the above ideas can be included, plus additional ethical ideas from cultures in other regions of the world (for example, Buddhist, Muslim, Confucianist cultures and others). Before explaining the applied approach, this study discusses relevant ideas of four example thinkers who emphasize flourishing in their ethics writings: Aristotle, Norbert Wiener, James Moor and Simon Rogerson. Findings: Flourishing Ethics is not a single ethical theory. It is “an approach,” a “family” of similar ethical theories which can be successfully applied to humans in many different cultures, as well as to non-human agents arising from new digital technologies. Originality/value: This appears to be the first extended analysis of the emerging flourishing ethics “family” of theories.