INSEIT MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: LUCIANO FLORIDI
1. What's life like for Luciano Floridi these days? How do you keep up with all you have happening?
absolutely wonderful these days. It has not always been so sweet, and this is
probably what makes me appreciate it more attentively. Kia and I enjoy an
extraordinary marriage and a very fulfilling relationship. We live in the
countryside (a small village in the Oxfordshire), we like a bit of gardening,
making our own jam and baking our own pizza, while Kia’s college (she is also
an academic, professor of cognitive neuroscience at
Personally, the greatest influence in my life has been Kia’s, apart from my parents’, of course. She has made me a happy person. Professionally, I could mention many living people, but in order not to be unjust, let me restrain the scope of the question to the dead. Kant is certainly the philosopher who has exercised the deepest and widest influence on the way I think. So, the answer is two Ks, really.
3. If you could only read one book for the rest
of your life, what would it be?
If I could cheat, then that book would undoubtedly be the second edition of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare published by OUP and edited by Stanley Wells, Gary Taylor, John Jowett, and William Montgomery. But if cheating is not allowed, then I have not doubts. They say humanity is divided between the Iliad-sort and the Odyssey-sort. I would read the second edition of the Odyssey in the Loeb Classical Library, translated by A. T. Murray and revised by G. E. Dimock. I much prefer Robert Fagles’ translation, but I would like to have the Greek text as well.
4. Word has it you watch "House" quite
regularly. What else is on your DVR?
Who has spilt the beans? I have some suspicions... oh well, you will also find, in alphabetic order, Bones, CSI, Numbers and lots of science fiction, B action films and B fantasy films. I confess that I use what I watch to rinse that spongy, gray material that lies behind the eyes.
5. What trends do you predict in information
This is a very hard question, and I’m sure I won’t be able to answer it without some serious bias. I suspect we may witness three trends. One is already taking shape. It is the recognition of information/computer ethics (what Charles Ess nicely acronymises as ICE) as a respectable field of philosophical research. The fact that some textbooks in applied ethics have begun to include chapters on ICE, beside chapters on the now established areas of bioethics or environmental ethics, is already very significant. This trend, I’m afraid, will also bring some institutionalization, and the inevitable fixation of a canon of texts. A second trend, that I also find very interesting, is the exploration of less “classic” issues. We seem to be expanding the range of topics covered by our discipline, which now includes not only the usual issues raised by privacy, ownership, the digital divide and so forth, but also innovative questions posed by less explored phenomena, such as the ethical construction of the self through digital environments, the establishment of e-trust, the possibility of ethical design of software, the emergence of e-conflicts, or the growing importance of distributed morality through multiagent, hybrid systems. These are just a few examples, but when you start feeling like an interface between your GPS and your car, as I do these days, then you realise that ICE has a lot to say on how our moral lives will be shaped by information and communication technologies (ICTs) already in the near future. Finally, I would add a third trend, which is even more difficult to map than the previous two. Because ICTs are so pervasive and crucial in our society, I expect more ICE-related, exciting work will emerge in areas of overlapping ethical concerns, where ICE meets for example biometrics and genetics, environmental problems, business procedures or medical decisions. To summarise: consolidation, expansion and cross-pollination, as clarified above, are the three trends that I expect.
6.Armani or Prada?
Honestly? Davide Cenci (http://www.davidecenci.com/4.swf), if only I could afford it more often. But if Armani or Prada must be the choice, then Armani, by all means. I grew up envying Richard Gere’s wardrobe in American Gigolo. And I like Armani’s own style. My favourite colour is grey.
7. How do you want to be remembered?
I just spent a wonderful weekend in