Ethical Communication: Moral Stances in Human Dialogue

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Clifford G. Christians, John C. Merrill
University of Missouri Press, Feb 15, 2013 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 232 pages
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Proponents of professional ethics recognize the importance of theory but also know that the field of ethics is best understood through real-world applications. This book introduces students and practitioners to important ethical concepts through the lives of major thinkers ranging from Aristotle to Ayn Rand, John Stuart Mill to the Dalai Lama. Some two dozen contributors approach media ethics from five perspectives—altruistic, egoistic, autonomous, legalist, and communitarian—and use real people as examples to convey ethical concepts as something more than mere abstractions. Readers see how Confucius represents group loyalty; Gandhi, nonviolent action; Mother Teresa, the spirit of sacrifice. Each profile provides biographical material, the individual’s basic ethical position and contribution, and insight into how his or her moral teachings can help the modern communicator. The roster of thinkers is gender inclusive, ethnically diverse, and spans a broad range of time and geography to challenge the misperception that moral theory is dominated by Western males. These profiles challenge us not to give up on moral thinking in our day but to take seriously the abundance of good ideas in ethics that the human race provides. They speak to real-life struggles by applying to such trials the lasting quality of foundational thought. Many of the root values to which they appeal are cross-cultural, even universal. Exemplifying these five ethical perspectives through more than two dozen mentors provides today’s communicators with a solid grounding of key ideas for improving discussion and attaining social progress in their lives and work. These profiles convey the diversity of means to personal and social betterment through worthwhile ideas that truly make ethics come alive.
 

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Contents

Introduction Clifford G Christians and John C Merrill
Loyalty to Others
Loyalty to Self
Loyalty to Freedom
Loyalty to Authority
Loyalty to the Community
Contributors
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2013)


Clifford G. Christians is Research Professor of Communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his books include Media Ethics: Cases and MoralReasoning, now in it eighth edition.
John C. Merrill is Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and author or editor of more than two dozen books including most recently Media, Mission, and Morality.

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