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AISB event Bulletin Item

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Luciano Floridi's Lectures, 12-13 Nov 2012, University of Evansville, Indiana, USA

I am pleased to announce that Luciano Floridi will be visiting the University of Evansville from 
November 10th-13th to deliver two lectures, the November Crick Lecture (Nov. 12th at 4:00pm in KC 
100) and our annual Ethics Lecture (November 13th at 7:00 in the Eykamp Lecture Hall). Dr. Floridi 
holds the UNESCO Chair of Information and Computer Ethics, University of Hertfordshire, and serves 
as chairman of the European Commission committee on Concepts Engineering to offer advice concerning
"the impact of information and communications technologies on the digital transformations occurring
in the European Society." Titles and abstracts of the two talks appear below along with a more 
complete biography of our guest.

Lectures are free and open to the public. 

The Ethics Lecture is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and Religion; the Crick Lecture by 
UE's Programs in the Cognitive and Neural Sciences. Additional support for Dr. Floridi's visit has 
been provided by the Kern Foundation and the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Many thanks,
Tony Beavers

Anthony F. Beavers, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy / Director of Cognitive Science
The University of Evansville

International Association for Computing and Philosophy

Information Ethics and the Political Foundations of the Information Society
The Annual Ethics Lecture - November 13th, 7:00 pm in the Eykamp Lecture Hall

The post-Westphalian Nation State developed by becoming more and more an Information Society. 
However, in so doing, it progressively made itself less and less the main information agent, 
because what made the Nation State possible and then predominant, as a historical driving force in 
human politics, namely Information and Computing Technologies, is also what is now making it less 
central, in the social, political and economic life of humanity across the world. These 
technologies "fluidify" the topology of politics. They do not merely enable but actually promote 
(through management and empowerment) the agile, temporary and timely aggregation, disaggregation 
and re-aggregation of distributed groups around shared interests across old, rigid boundaries 
represented by social classes, political parties, ethnicity, language barriers, physical barriers,
and so forth. This is generating a new tension between the Nation State, still understood as a 
major organisational institution, yet no longer monolithic but increasingly morphing into a 
multiagent system itself, and a variety of equally powerful, indeed sometimes even more politically
influential and powerful, non-Statal organisations. Geo-politics is now global and increasingly 
non-territorial, but the Nation State still defines its identity and political legitimacy in terms 
of a sovereign territorial unit, as a Country. Such tension calls for a serious exercise in 
conceptual re-engineering: how should the new informational multiagent systems (MAS) be designed 
in such a way as to take full advantage of the socio-political progress made so far, while being 
able to deal successfully with the new global challenges (from the environment to the financial 
markets) that are undermining the legacy of that very progress? In the lecture, I shall defend an 
answer to this question in terms of a design of political MAS based on principles borrowed from 
information ethics.

The Varieties of Complexity
The Crick Lecture in the Cognitive and Neural Sciences - November 12th, 4:00 pm in KC 100

The lecture is divided into three parts. In the first part, I offer a simple introduction to four 
well-known senses in which different scientific fields speak of complexity, namely state complexity,
Kolmogorov complexity, computational complexity, and programming complexity. I then suggest an 
intuitive way in which they can be linked in a conceptual, unified view. Against this background, 
in the second part, I outline a new concept of complexity, to be labelled coordination complexity. 
Coordination complexity completes the unified view. I use it in the third and concluding part to 
argue that big problems may be problems with maximum degree of coordination complexity, which 
require the mobilisation of the whole system to be tackled.

Extended Biography - Luciano Floridi

Luciano Floridi is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire  where he holds 
the Research Chair in Philosophy of Information and the UNESCO Chair of Information and Computer 
Ethics  and Fellow of St Cross College, University of Oxford. He is the founder and director of 
the IEG, the Oxford University Information Ethics research Group. Before joining Hertfordshire, 
he was Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Warwick; Junior Research Fellow and then 
Research Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Oxford; Francis Yates Fellow of the Warburg 
Institute, University of London; and Associate Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at 
the Universit degli Studi di Bari.

Floridi is best known for his foundational research on the Philosophy of Information and 
Information Ethics, two new research areas that he has significantly helped to establish. Other 
research interests include Epistemology, Philosophy of Logic, Philosophy of Technology, and the 
History and Philosophy of Scepticism. He has published over 150 articles in these areas, in many 
anthologies and some of the best international peer-reviewed journals. His works have been 
translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Greek, Japanese, Italian, Hungarian, Persian, Polish, 
Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

His most recent books are: The Philosophy of Information (Oxford University Press, 2011, volume 
one of the quadrilogy Principia Philosophiae Informationis); Information  A Very Short 
Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2010); and the Cambridge Handbook of Information and 
Computer Ethics (edited for Cambridge University Press, 2010).

His forthcoming books are: The Ethics of Information (Oxford University Press, volume two of the 
quadrilogy); and The Fourth Revolution - The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies 
on Our Lives (Oxford University Press, under contract). The Policies of Information, and The 
Elements of Information are the third and fourth volumes of the quadrilogy, both in progress.

His previous books include Scepticism and the Foundation of Epistemology  A Study in the 
Metalogical Fallacies (Brill, 1996); Internet  An Epistemological Essay (Il Saggiatore, 1997); 
Philosophy and Computing: An Introduction (Routledge, 1999); Sextus Empiricus, The Recovery and 
Transmission of Pyrrhonism (Oxford University Press, 2002). He is the editor of the Blackwell 
Guide to the Philosophy of Computing and Information (Blackwell, 2004).

Between 2006 and 2010, he was President of the International Association for Computing And 
Philosophy. In 2009, he became the first philosopher to be elected Gauss Professor by the 
Gttingen Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Barwise Prize by the American Philosophical 
Association in recognition of his research on the philosophy of information, and was elected 
Fellow of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour. 
In 2010, he was elected Fellow of the Center for Information Policy Research, University of 
WisconsinMilwaukee and appointed Editor-in-Chief of Springers new journal Philosophy & 
Technology. In 2011, he was awarded a laurea honoris causa by the University of Suceava, 
Romania, for his research on the philosophy of information. In 2012, he was appointed Chairman 
of the expert group Concepts Engineering, organised by the DG INFSO of the European Commission, 
on the impact of information and communication technologies on the digital transformations 
occurring in the European society; he won the Covey Award, by the International Association for 
Computing and Philosophy, for outstanding research in philosophy and computing, and was the 
recipient of the Weizenbaum Award for his "significant contribution to the field of information 
and computer ethics, through his research, service, and vision (the award is given every two 
years by the International Society for Ethics and Information Technology). He also became the 
first Distinguished Scholar ever nominated by American University since its foundation in 1892.

In 2009-11, he was the Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded project The Construction of 
Personal Identities Online and of the Marie Curie Fellowship Grant on "The Ethics of Information 
Warfare: Risks, Rights and Responsibilities" (FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IEF, 2011-2012). He is currently 
the Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded project Understanding Information Quality Standards 
and their Challenges (2011-2013), in collaboration with Google UK.

He has delivered more than two hundred talks. Some of his recent engagements with the general 
public include his participation in the World Science Festival in NY in 2010 and a TEDx on the 
Fourth Revolution in 2011, both available on YouTube. In 2012, he was a keynote speaker at the 
Seoul Digital Forum (SDF2012), the Beijing Forum, and at the EU Digital Agenda, during which he 
addressed the European Parliament on education issues in the information society.