Chapter 1: The Ethics of Being in a Communications Context Next Chapter

Clifford G. Christians

In: Communication Ethics and Universal Values

Chapter 1: The Ethics of Being in a Communications Context

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The Ethics of Being in a Communications Context
The ethics of being in a communications context
Clifford G.Christians1

Ethical rationalism has served as the prevailing paradigm in Western moral philosophy. Reason made the human species distinctive and only through rationality were moral canons legitimate. The truth of prescriptions could be settled by formal examination of their logical structure. In the Cartesian version, reason was considered “the same for all thinking subjects, all nations, all epochs and all cultures” (Cassirer, 1951, p. 6). By making cognitive processes explicit and combining them with the ancient Western emphasis on reason's universality, basic rules were constructed that autonomous moral agents considered obligatory and against which all counter claims about moral obligation could be measured.

Just as western science has held there are ...

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