Kay Mathiesen

About Kay Mathiesen

Kay Mathiesen is an Associate Professor with a research focus on information ethics and justice. She received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from University of California, Irvine. She uses her expertise in social epistemology, ethics, social philosophy, and political philosophy to analyze ethical issues related to persons and communities as seekers, sources, and subjects of knowledge and information. She has written a number of papers on human rights as they relate to information access and control.

Her current project, entitled "Informational Justice." seeks to answer such questions as, Do we have a right to know? If so, what duties does that place on ourselves, other citizens, and governments? Do we have rights to control how we are depicted and information is circulated about us? If so, how do such rights implicate others rights to communicate? Is freedom of expression sufficient to allow for full participation of marginalized groups in the public infosphere?

Research Interests

Information ethics
Professional ethics
Information law and policy 
Human rights and global justice
Social and political theory
Applied ethics and ethical theory
Social and collective epistemology

Selected Publications

“Human Rights as a Subject and Guide for LIS Research and Practice,” Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST),
“The Human Right to a Public Library,” Journal of Information Ethics, Spring 2013.
“The Internet, Children, and Privacy: The Case Against Parental Monitoring,” Ethics and Information Technology. Vol. 15, No. 4, 2013: 263-274.
"The Human Right to Internet Access: A Philosophical Defense,” International Review of Information Ethics, Vol. 18, December 2012.
"A Defense of Native American Rights over their Traditional Cultural Expressions" he American Archivist, Vol. 75, No. 2, Fall/Winter 2012: 456-481.
"Can Groups be Epistemic Agents?" Collective Epistemology. Ontos Verlag, Frankfurt, 2011: 23-44.
“The Human Right to "Epistemic Features of Group Belief." Episteme, Vol. 2, No. 3, 2006: 161-175.
"Censorship and Access to Information," Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics.Kenneth E. Himma, Herman T. Tavani, eds., John Wiley and Sons, New York, 2008. "What is Information Ethics?" Computers and Society, Vol. 32, No. 8, 2004.

Kay Mathiesen's picture

Contact Information

Kay Mathiesen
Associate Professor, School of Information
Telephone: (520) 621-3561
Office: Harvill 445D
Office Hours: TBA


B.A.   Philosophy (Summa Cum Laude), University of California, Santa Cruz
M.A.  Philosophy University of California, Irvine
Ph.D. Philosophy, University of California, Irvine

Courses Taught

Graduate Courses:
Ethics for Library and Information Professionals
Intellectual Freedom and Libraries
Introduction to Copyright
Social Justice and Information Services
Introduction to Digital Culture

Undergraduate Courses:
Digital Dilemmas
Digital Ethics

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences