Kay Mathiesen

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Curriculum Vitae


Degrees Awarded: 

  • Ph.D. in Philosophy, University of California, Irvine, June 1998.
  • M.A. in Philosophy, University of California, Irvine, June 1992.
  • A. Summa Cum Laude in Philosophy, University of California, Santa Cruz, March 1988.
  • Attended: Cuesta Community College, San Luis Obispo, California, 1984-86.

Doctoral Dissertation:

  • A Social Ontology of Community. Committee Members: David Woodruff Smith (chair, philosophy), Gary Watson (philosophy), and Kristen Monroe (political science).

Major Fields:

  • Information and Computer Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Social Epistemology, Social Ontology.



  • Associate Professor, School of Information, University of Arizona, September 2016-present.
  • Assistant Professor, School of Information (previously called the School of Information Resources and Library Science), University of Arizona, January 2009-September 2017.
  • Senior Lecturer, School of Information Resources and Library Science, University of Arizona, January 2006-December 2008.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Montclair State University, September 2004-June 2005.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, September 1999-June 2004.
  • Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, University of Arizona, August 1998-May 1999.



Full text of most of Kay Mathiesen’s Publications can be found on the Social Science Research Network.

Refereed Chapters in Scholarly Books

  • “Fake News and Critical Thinking,” Information Literacy in the Age of Fake News. Denise Agosto, editor. ABC-Clio Publishers, 2018. [forthcoming]
  • “The Greatest Liar has his Believers’: The Social Epistemology of Political Lying.” [co-author Don Fallis]. Political Ethics, Emily Crookston, David Kiloren, and Johnathan Trerise editors. Routledge. 2017: 35-53.
  • “Human Rights without Cultural Imperialism,” Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice, Paul Jaeger, editor. Emerald Publishing., 2016: 265-286.
  • “Transparency for Democracy: The Case of Open Government Data,” Privacy, Security, and Accountability: Ethics, Law, and Policy Adam Moore, editor. Rowman and Littlefield International, 2015: 122-144.
  • “Can Groups be Epistemic Agents?,” Collective Epistemology. Daniel Sirtes, Marcel Weber, and Hans Bernhard Schmid, editors. Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag, 2011: 23-44.
  • “Information Ethics and the Library Profession,” [co-author Don Fallis] Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics. Kenneth E. Himma and Herman T. Tavani Editors. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2008: 221-244.
  • “Censorship and Access to Information,” Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics. Kenneth Himma and Herman Tavani, editors. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2008: 573-588.
  • “Collective Consciousness,” Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind. Amie Thomasson and David Woodruff Smith, editors. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005: 235-252.
  • *“Searle, Collective Intentions, and Individualism,” Social Facts and Collective Intentionality. George Meggle, editor. New York, Dr. Hansel-Hohenhausen AG: 2002: 27-40.

Refereed Journal Articles

  • “Is there a Human Right to Intellectual Property?” Southwest Philosophical Studies, Vol. 37, 2015: 43-49.
  • “Informational Justice: A Social Justice Framework for Library and Information Services,” Library Trends issue on Social Justice in Library and Information Science and Services, Vol. 64, No. 2, 2015: 198-225.
  • “Human Rights as a Subject and Guide for LIS Research and Practice,” Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), Vol. 66, No. 7, 2015: 1305-1322.
  • “Towards a Political Philosophy of Information,” Library Trends issue on Exploring Philosophies of Information, Vol. 63, No. 3, 2015: 427-447.
  • “Human Rights for the Digital Age,” Journal of Mass Media Ethics, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2014: 2-18
  • “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 a Public Library,” Journal of Information Ethics, Vol. 22, No. 1, 2013: 60-79.
  • “The Human Right to Internet Access: A Philosophical Defense,” International Review of Information Ethics, Vol. 18, December 2012: 9-22.
  • “A Defense of Native American’s Rights to their Traditional Cultural Expressions,” The American Archivist, Vol. 75, No. 2, 2012: 456-481.
  • “Epistemic Risk and Community Policing,” Southern Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 44, Supp. 2006: 139-150.
  • “Epistemic Features of Group Belief,” Episteme, Vol. 2, No. 3, 2006: 161-175.
  • “We’re all in this Together:  Responsibility of Collective Agents and their Members,” Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. 30, 2006: 240-255.
  • “What is Information Ethics?,” Computers and Society, Vol. 34, No. 1, 2004: DOI=1145/1050305.1050312.
  • “Collective Identity,” ProtoSociology, Vol. 18-19, 2003: 66-86.
  • “The Ethical Presuppositions Behind the Library Bill of Rights,” Library Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4, 2000: 461-498. [co-authors Martin Frické and Don Fallis]
  • “Game Theory in Business Ethics: Bad Ideology or Bad Press?,” Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1999: 37-45.
  • “If Moral Action Flows Naturally from Identity and Perspective, Is It Meaningful to Speak of Moral Choice?Virtue Ethics and Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust,” The Annual Review of Law and Ethics, Vol. 6, 1998: 343-395. [co-authors Kristen Monroe and Jack Kraypo]

Refereed Encyclopedia Entries

  • “Group Beliefs,” Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Sage Publications, 2013: 398-399.
  • “e-Human Rights,” Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Third Edition, IGI Global, 2014: 2981-2990.

Refereed Conference Proceedings

  • “Facets of Access: A Conceptual and Standard Threats Analysis,” iConference Proceedings, 2014. Available from http://hdl.handle.net/2142/47410.
  • “Access to Information as a Human Right,” iConference Proceedings, 2009. Available from http://hdl.handle.net/2142/15236.
  • “Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to Culture and Individual Rights to Access,” iConference Proceedings, 2008. Available from http://hdl.handle.net/2142/15074.
  • “Consistency Rules for Classification Schemes,” Proceedings of the 6th International Conference of the International Society for Knowledge Organization, Germany: Ergon Verlag: 2000: 325-333. [co-author Don Fallis]

Republications and Translations

  • “The Internet, Children, and Privacy: The Case Against Parental Monitoring,” Unconventional Wisdom: News You Can Use, 6th Annual Edition. Joshua Coleman and Stephanie Coontz, editors. Council on Contemporary Families, April 20, 2014. Available from https://contemporaryfamilies.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/2014_Unconventional_wisdom_6.pdf. [A summarized version of a paper of the same title originally published in Ethics and Information Technology]
  • “Wir sitzen alle in einem Boot: Die Verantwortung kollektiver Akteure und ihrer Mitcgleider” in Kollective Intentionalität [Collective Intentionality], Hans Bernhard Schmid and David Schweikard, editors. Suhrkamp Verlag: Frankfurt, 2009: 188-203. [A republication in German of “We’re all in this Together:  Responsibility of Collective Agents and their Members” originally published in Midwest Studies in Philosophy]

Opinion Pieces (not peer reviewed)

  • “Veritistic epistemology and the epistemic goals of groups: A reply to Vahamaa,” Social Epistemology, Vol. 27, No. 1, 2013: 21-25. [co-author Don Fallis]
  • “Response to ‘A Utilitarian Case for Intellectual Freedom in Libraries’ by Tony Doyle,” Library Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3, 2001: 437-438. [co-author Don Fallis]

Works Edited

  • Special Issue of Social Epistemology on “Collective Knowledge and Collective Knowers,” Vol. 21, No. 3, 2007.
  • Special Issue of Journal of Information Ethics on “Intellectual Property,” Vol. 16, No. 2, 2007.



  • “Fake News and the Limits of Freedom of Speech.” invited chapter for Media Ethics: Free Speech and the Requirements of Democracy, Carl Fox and Joe Saunders editors, Routledge. [currently under submission]
  • “Collective Responsibility in Digital Environments,” invited chapter for the Routledge Handbook of Collective Responsibility, Deborah Tollefsen and Saba Barzagan-Forward editors, Routledge.
  • “From the Panopticon to Sherlock Holmes: Privacy in the Age of Big Data and Machine Learning” (Article)
  • “The Right to Know” (Article)


SCHOLARLY PRESENTATIONS (Limited to the last 10 years)


  • “Fake News and the Limits of Freedom of Speech,” Center for the Philosophy of Freedom, University of Arizona, March 15, 2018.
  • “Transparency for Democracy: The Case of Open Government Data,” Philosophy Colloquium, University of Utah, March 13, 2015.
  • “Human Rights and Access to Information,” Center for the Philosophy of Freedom Colloquium Series, University of Arizona, January 17, 2013.
  • “Information Rights as Human Rights,” Philosophy Colloquium Series, Saint Andrews University, September 13, 2012.
  • “Information Rights as Human Rights,” The Information Ethics Fellow Public Lecture, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, April 14, 2010.

Academic Conference Presentations

  • “Just Descriptions: Classification and Epistemic Injustice,” The Politics of Classification. UCLA, May 10, 2017.
  • “The Phenomenology of Online Identity,” [co-author Michael Jenkins (doctoral student)] Panel Presentation, Society for Phenomenology and Analytic Philosophy, American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meeting, April 2, 2016.
  • “Transparency for Democracy: The Case of Open Government Data,” Information Ethics Roundtable. University of Wisconsin, Madison, April 9, 2015.
  • “The Collective Epistemology of Political Lying” [co-author Don Fallis], Collective Epistemology Conference, Northwestern University, October 25. 2014.
  • “Information Goods and Social Justice,” Society for Philosophy of Information Conference, Duke University, Durham, NC, May 15, 2014.
  • “Is There a Human Right to Intellectual Property?,” New Mexico/Texas Philosophical Society Annual Meeting, , April 2014.
  • “Facets of Access: A Conceptual and Standard Threats Analysis,” iConference 2014, Berlin, Germany, March 6, 2014.
  • “Method in Information Ethics: What can we Learn from Bioethics?,” Information Ethics Roundtable, University of Washington, April 25, 2013.
  • “Yes, Vinton, there is a Human Right to the Internet,” International Symposium on Digital Ethics, Loyola University, Chicago, IL, October 29, 2012.
  • “Children’s Rights to Privacy vs. Parent’s Obligation to Protect,” Information Ethics Roundtable, Hunter College, New York, NY, April 28, 2012.
  • “The Human Right to Information Access,” Information Ethics Roundtable, University of Arizona, April 16, 2011.
  • “Access to Health Information as a Basic Human Right,” Information Ethics Roundtable, Bridgewater State University, February 19, 2010.
  • “Collective Epistemic Agency,” American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meeting, New York, NY, December 29, 2009.
  • “Access to Information as a Human Right,” 2009 iConference, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, February 9, 2009.
  • “Race as an Institutional Fact,” American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meeting, Vancouver, Canada, April 10, 2009.

Invited Commentator

  • “The Problem of Unwelcome Epistemic Company” by Joshua Blanchard, American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meeting, January 4, 2018.
  • “Defending Non-Summativism about Group Belief” by Georgi Gardiner, American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meeting, January 9, 2016.
  • “Respect for Context as a Benchmark for Privacy Online: What it is and what it isn’t” by Helen Nissenbaum, Information Ethics Roundtable, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, April 26, 2013.
  • “The Importance of What They Care About,” by Matthew Smith, 10th Annual Bellingham Summer Philosophy Conference, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA, August 3, 2009.

Presentations to Professional Organizations

  • “Beyond the Term Paper: Capstone Experiences in Information Ethics Courses” [co-authors Laura Lenhart and Don Fallis], Annual Conference of the American Society for Library and Information Science Education, Philadelphia, PA, January 20, 2014.
  • “Bringing eSociety into Undergraduate and Graduate education,” Panel Presentation, Arizona Library Association Annual Conference, Scottsdale/Fountain Hills, Arizona. November 15, 2013. [co-authors Londie Martin, Catherine Brooks, and Bruce Fulton].
  • “Got Ethics?,” [co-author Laura Lenhart (doctoral student), Arizona Library Association Annual Conference, Glendale, Arizona. December 10, 2009.
  • Speaker, “Librarians as Human Rights Workers,” Baja Library Association Meeting, CETYS University, Tijuana, Mexico, October 10, 2009.
  • “Ethical Issues and Traditional Cultural Expressions,” American Library Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, July 11, 2009.

Public Lectures

  • “Surveillance and Privacy Today: A Panel Discussion” [discussant], Center for Digital Society and Data Studies, University of Arizona, January 29, 2018.
  • “The Real Story about Fake News” [co-author Don Fallis], Sedona Salon. Philosophy in the Public Interest, Sedona, Arizona, December 2, 2017.
  • “Privacy and Mobile Apps: Why Designers Should Care and What They Can Do About It,” Innovation in Action: Mobile Matters, University of Arizona, October 21, 2013.
  • “Arizona’s Ban on Ethnic Studies: A Violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child?”, Misunderstood Titles: A Panel Discussion about Censorship in the Old Pueblo, Main Library, University of Arizona, October 23, 2012.
  • “Wikileaks: Assessing the Threat,” The Senior Academy, Tucson, Arizona, February 16, 2011.
  • “The Human Right to Read,” Tuesday Talk, Main Library, University of Arizona, October 5, 2010.



  • Fellowship, Center for Information Policy Research, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Awarded Fall 2009.
  • Fellowship, Summer Seminar on “Philosophical Perspectives on Law Democracy and Human Rights,” National Endowment for the Humanities. Awarded Summer 2007.
  • Fellowship, Summer Seminar on “The Philosophical Foundations of Social Epistemology,” National Endowment for the Humanities. Awarded Summer 2000.
  • Regents Fellowship, University of California, Irvine. Awarded September 1989.



National Outreach:

  • Co-founder and member of the organizing committee for the Information Ethics Roundtable conference, 2003-present.
  • Referee for Episteme, Social Epistemology, Information Society, Ethics and Information Technology, Synthese, Dialectica, Journal of Applied Philosophy, Philosophical Quarterly, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Oxford University Press. 2010-present.
  • Advisory Board for the Book Series Studies in the Philosophy of Sociality, Springer. January 2010-May 2013.
  • Chair and site organizer for Information Ethics Roundtable on “Information Rights as Human Rights” and workshop on “Libraries and Human Rights,” 2011.
  • Consultant on Traditional Cultural Expression in Libraries for the American Library Association Office of Information Policy, 2009-2010.

Departmental Committees/Roles (limited to the last 5 years)

  • Annual Review Committee, Chair, Fall 2017-Present.
  • GA/TA Coordinator, Fall 2017-Present.
  • Graduate Studies Committee, Fall 2013-Present.
  • Annual Review Documents Committee, Spring 2016.
  • Coordinator for Placement and Recruiting, Fall 2013-Fall 2015.


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