Neo-Rawlsian Co-ordinates: Notes on A Theory of Justice for the Information Age


  • Alistair S Duff



The ideas of philosopher John Rawls should be appropriated for the information age. A literature review identifies previous contributions in fields such as communication and library and information science. The article postulates the following neo-Rawlsian propositions as co-ordinates for the development of a normative theory of the information society: that political philosophy should be incorporated into information society studies; that social and technological circumstances define the limits of progressive politics; that the right is prior to the good in social morality; that the nation state should remain in sharp focus, despite globalization; that liberty, the first principle of social justice, requires updating to deal with the growth of surveillance and other challenges; that social wellbeing is a function of equal opportunities plus limited inequalities of outcome, in information as well as material resources; and that political stability depends upon an overlapping consensus accommodating both religion and secularism. Although incomplete, such co-ordinates can help to guide policy-makers in the twenty-first century.




How to Cite

Duff, Alistair S. 2006. “Neo-Rawlsian Co-Ordinates: Notes on A Theory of Justice for the Information Age”. The International Review of Information Ethics 6 (December). Edmonton, Canada:17-22.