Universalisation, Totality and ICT, or: Are there any reasons for demanding ICT-free areas?


  • Jessica Heesen




In the following contribution we will investigate the digital divide with respect to a philosophically and ideologically founded concept of universalisation. The documents of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) show that the creation of a global information society not only concerns a technical structural transformation, but also a technical implementation of a normative guiding principle. I will show that overcoming the digital divide corresponds to the inner logic of universalisation as an ethical model of reasoning. Furthermore, we will see that in reality this formal approach to reasoning proves to be a means of realising certain ideological perspectives. This interdependency of cultural dispositions and technical developments in the global information society will be shown in five aspects: • The creation of a global social utopia based on the concept of the information society. • The objectification of the concept of universalisation in information and communication technology (ICT). • The linking of global internet use to a normative idea of the public sphere. • The tendency towards totality as a problem of the public sphere and ICT. • Possible reasons for demanding ICT-free areas.




How to Cite

Heesen, Jessica. 2004. “Universalisation, Totality and ICT, Or: Are There Any Reasons for demanding ICT-Free Areas?”. The International Review of Information Ethics 2 (November). Edmonton, Canada. https://doi.org/10.29173/irie255.