The application of ethical thinking to situations involving human communication.
Being honest, doing the right thing even if its hard to do, sacrifice.
Good person does not knowingly do bad things
Character is more important than rules
Good judgment comes with good character
The highest virtue is excellence in being fully human. i.e. a good person
Foundations of Virtue Ethics
Socrates and Plato concerned about persuasion, truth and justice... Enhance community and not just ends of speaker.
Follow the rules. Always. Regardless of the consequences.
Deontological system of ethics
Based on rules
Kants Categorical Imperative
Applies in every situation.
If you cant steal in one situation, you cant steal in ANY situation. Also, If you can steal in one situation, you can steal in ANY situation.
No specific cases
The 'duty' is to obey the rules
Two rules of religion`s beliefs
1. Define what is ethical
2. Provide motivation to act in that way.
Can be considered consistent w/divine command
But, What is Natural?
Context determines the ethical outcome
ethicality depends on the motive or intention
when is it okay to lie, when is it not?
All human cultures are equally valid and moral within their own systems
Intended to counter ethnocentrism-belief that your culture is better than another...
Universal ethics applies to Communication
Habermas ideal speech situation:
1. All parties are included
2. All equal opportunity to speak
3. All must mean what they say (no dishonesty)
4.All are rational; no external/internal action.
Outcomes are the best measure of ethicality.
Greatest good for the greatest number.
Consider implications for everyone equally
May be more applicable to public, rather than interpersonal communication
Considered quality rather than just quantity.
Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness.... (pg.62)
Doing whats best for one`s own interests is the most ethical behavior.
Even when we seem to act, our motivations are selef interested(all parties are self interested, have an understanding)
If everyone acts out of self interest, the overall outcome benefits all.
Always doing whats in best interest for everyone else
Contrasts with utilitarianism
Focus is on the effects of actions on individuals
rather than an aggregate "greater good"
The social contract
Morality requires treating each person fairly.
Ex: Teacher/Student relationship-- Expectancies in fair treatment, resulting in greatest good for education.
Rawl`s Veil of Ignorance
When forced with a dilemma, you try to hold back your self interest. This ensures equal rights and equal justice.
How do we treat and enage with each other in our relationships? Each person is accepted as an equal, unique, and having worth. Such an approach is a "life stance that requires us to respond to the other in a consistent and sacrificial manner."
Dialogue=Turning one another in truth
Requires that one sheds ego, personal needs, ets
Contrasts with "I-It" relationship in which we may seek personal gain.
Not all situations call for engagement, but relationships should be built on it.
Roger`s Unconditional Positive Regard:
Giving another our full, caring, undivided attention w/o judging or evaluating.-- putting aside oneself
Ethics begins first and foremost in person-to-person contact
Becoming pre-occupied with the other person
Results in that person having some power over us.
Ex; romantic relationships, whoever is more ethical asserts more power... or a girl is more focused on doing something for him that she loses sense of her own wants...
Freire`s Ethics of empowerment:
Dialogue and education as cooperative
Mutual respect is at the heart of engagement with others
Working 'with' rather than acting 'on'
Engagement, present-ness, other oriented relationships
Beware of your role in relationships and your agenda
Post-modern vs. modern
modern associated with the universals
search for certainty and objective truth.
post-modern associated with multiple perspectives, critique the hiddent assumptions, ruptures in the systems that reveal the constructedness.
Implications for Communication and Ethics
No Generalizations; each experience taken as unique
Focus on difference
Cannot have general rules
Multiple meanings in a given text
Ethics of Care
Psychological differences in men and women
morality is different
Men: justice, rights, conequences
Women: relationships, experiences, care for self and other