Norms for Communication and Digital Technologies - Prof Onora O'Neill

Both ethical and epistemic norms that matter for communication have been discussed since antiquity, and have frequently had to be adjusted to take account of changes in the technologies used to communicate. Current concerns about communication that uses digital technologies may raise distinctive problems. I shall ask whether, and if so why, digital technologies place particular pressure on norms for communication. My focus will be mainly on some ways in which digital technologies bear on public reasoning, and thereby on public goods such as serious journalism, culture and democratic politics.

Professor Onora O'Neill

Onora O’Neill combines writing on political philosophy and ethics with a range of public activities. She comes from Northern Ireland and has worked mainly in Britain and the US. She was Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge from 1992-2006 and Hon Professor of Philosophy in the University of Cambridge. She was President of the British Academy from 2005-9, chaired the Nuffield Foundation from 1998-2010, and has been a crossbench member of the House of Lords since 2000 (Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve). She chaired the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission from 2012-16, and is currently on the boards of the Medical Research Council and the Banking Standards Review. She lectures and writes on justice and ethics, and in particular on the work of Immanuel Kant. Recent publications also address questions about accountability and trust, justice and borders, the future of universities, the quality of legislation and the ethics of communication.

This event is supported by the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI), the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER), and the Intellectual Forum at Jesus College.

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