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- system for judgment that is clear and objective
- About right/wrong decisions
- Situation must be one of choice
- Intention must be taken into account
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
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
- Sociobiology/Evolutionare Psychology
- 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
- Common sense
- 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