A Communication Contribution to Ethical Theory and Praxis

This essay is published as Chapter 2 of The Handbook of Communication Ethics, edited by George Cheney, Steve May, and Debashish Munshi (New York:  Routledge, 2011), pp. 15-30.  The Handbook is part of a series published by the International Communication Association, and is dedicated “to the further pursuit of values, ethics and justice in the field of communication, recognizing that the very discussion of those matters must be inclusive, complex, conflictual, and ongoing.”

The chapter represents one of my areas of scholarly interest, and it pursues a project I’ve been working on for many years:  Connecting communication with philosophy in order to help both disciplines improve people’s lives.

I argue here that previous understandings of “ethical choice” have been oversimplified, and that those interested in applied ethics need to recognize that choices have effects that are collaboratively constructed in people’s communicating.

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