The communication ethicist must face this nearly endlessly multiplicitous diversity in her inquiry into questions of the good. For example, Chantal Mouffe critiques both Habermas’s and Rawls’s theories because they rely upon idealized, conceptually impossible, and hyper-rational models of deliberative democracy. Similarly, what some consider to be the social contract—the implicit moral obligations we have by virtue of being part of society—make everyday life in the shared social world possible. Associated largely with late 20th-century Euro-American philosophers, such as Zygmunt Bauman, Joseph Caputo, and Michel Foucault, but also with feminist ethicists such as Carol Gilligan, Joan Tronto, and Nel Noddings, postmodern ethicists critique so-called modernist and enlightenment ethical philosophies such as virtue, deontological, and teleological ethics. Law and Ethics in Digital Communication The difference between law and ethics aren’t always clear cut. 5. Ethical compassion arises not because one identifies with the others’ suffering but because one recognizes the other’s alterity, and therefore, her suffering. Ethical credos, honor codes, moral principles, and ethical guidelines often stipulate “right vs. wrong” scenarios as a means to get at the good. Thus, ethical questions infuse all areas of the discipline of communication, including rhetoric, media studies, intercultural/international communication, relational and organization communication, and all other iterations of the discipline. Other questions involve the role of objectivity in news, its epistemic (im)possibility, and the ethical implications distinguishing between impartiality and objectivity (Carey, 1989; Malcolm, 2011; Ward, 2004). Also in the latter half of the 20th century, scholars in communication ethics began to wrestle with the problematics of power and truth in order to interrogate ethical questions regarding the relationship between social standpoint and social justice. Is it an ethical good for society to provide access to free and quality education to all children? Other areas involving integrity in a wide variety of communication ethics contexts include questions of authenticity, betrayal, cynicism, demagoguery, denial, disclosure, distortion, erasure, exposure, falsification, mystification, obfuscation, omission, secrecy, selectivity, silence, surveillance, suspicion, and transparency (Herrscher, 2002; Ivie, 1980). Some tens of millions of American speak more than 25 languages other than English (not including the more than 175 native American languages now spoken in the United States) with 17.5 million Spanish speakers (Schmid, 2001). Deontological ethics (derived from the Greek word for duty) are most commonly associated with the 18th-century Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant, who constructed a theory of moral reasoning based not on virtues, outcomes, or emotions but on duties and obligations. To Buber, the person becomes a person by saying Thou and thereby entering into relation with other persons. Why is there a Holocaust museum but not a Native American genocide museum? But it is to give to the master, to the lord, to him whom one approaches as ‘Vous’ in a dimension of height” (1969, p. 75). The relational thread of communication ethics calls upon us to never lose sight of the radical alterity, or otherness, of the other. Other forms of overt ethics involve public argument, laws, policies, principals, guidelines, and so forth. I may serve my family a healthy dinner of quinoa not knowing that, as an indirect result, thousands of peasants high in the Andes can no longer afford to feed their families the very grain they grow. During the 20th century, postmodern ethics has called these prior ethical theories into question by challenging not merely the value of rules, procedures, systems, and fixed categories for understanding or theorizing ethics, but the humanist ideas of persons as autonomous agents who can act independently as ethical agents. Employees need to be trained on the importance of ethics in decision making so as to get rid of the blame game factor when wrong choices are made. The Thou, in Buber’s understanding, is not a monadic subjectivity but a relation of intersubjectivity, or development of mutual meaning, that arises from people cohabiting communication exchanges in which understanding arises from what happens in between the subjectivity of persons. The concepts most directly associated with ethics are truth, honesty, fairness, and equity. Some contemporary theorists argue an ethical egoist position from a psychological point of view that stresses the emotional and social benefits of ethical actions to self, whereas others argue ethical egoism from an evolutionary point of view that stresses the genetic and biological benefits to self. While most communication ethics textbooks tend to include some combination of theory, disciplinary context, and applied context, each tends to principally emphasize one or two of these areas. Some communication ethics textbooks are organized principally around modes of moral reasoning, while others address ethics as it is understood in different areas of the field. By asking questions such as who speaks, who is heard, or whose voice is rendered unintelligible, students are encouraged to more fully recognize both tacit and overt ethical questions in all manner of communicative interactions. But heterogeneity should not be mistaken for relativism (Brummett, 1981).1 Because ethical questions are embedded both tacitly and explicitly in all human interactions, communication scholars look at both covert as well as overt questions of ethics. Ethics serve as a guide to moral daily living and helps us judge whether our behavior can be justified. What are the consequences of telling the truth?”. What has led public discourses about public goods to be subsumed so readily under neoliberal discourses emphasizing self-sufficiency and individual autonomy (Oh & Banjo, 2012; Saunders, 2010)? Lanier also finds fault with social media’s alienation of information from experience and the drive for anonymity that induces violation, reductionism, insincerity, and a general lack of intellectual modesty. This can be seen in work on public memory, an area fraught with ethical questions—which historical events are commemorated or memorialized, and which are forgotten (Bruner, 2006; Vivian, 2010)? Thus, not only can there be a kind of independent ethical agency that stands apart from the set of relations it inhabits, there is little possibility of any ethical agent perceiving or anticipating all these ethical interconnections. Influenced by continental theorists such as Jacques Derrida, Jean-Francoise Lyotard, and Michel Foucault, communication ethics were sometimes characterized by the struggle between objectivist, absolutist questions of truth versus subjective, relativist conceptions of truth. Teleological ethics have been critiqued on a number of grounds from a number of perspectives, especially the deontological and virtue-based approaches. At this point in time, communication ethics scholarship can be described by three central characteristics: heterogeneity, interconnectivity, and historicity. 1. Therefore, relational compassion is open to transformation of the self wherein “we are not attempting to transform the world, but we are allowing ourselves to be transformed” (Noddings, 1984, p. 34). Ethics when Communicating Your audience expects you to treat them with respect, and deliberately manipulating them by means of fear, guilt, duty, or a relationship is unethical. But as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others have famously said, one has a moral obligation to disobey unjust laws. As Reinhold Niebuhr put it, “Politics will, to the end of history, be an area where conscience and power meet, where the ethical and the coercive factors of human life will interpenetrate and work out tentative and uneasy compromises” (2013, p. 4). 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