Cultural Pluralism and Its Implications for Media Ethics

In Patrick Plaisance (ed.), Ethics in Communication. De Gruyter. pp. 53-73 (2018)
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Abstract

In the face of differences between the ethical religio-philosophies believed across the globe, how should a media ethicist theorize or make recommendations in the light of theory? One approach is relativist, taking each distinct moral worldview to be true only for its own people. A second approach is universalist, seeking to discover a handful of basic ethical principles that are already shared by all the world's peoples. After providing reasons to doubt both of these approaches to doing media ethics, consideration is given to a third. This under-explored approach offers moral claims that would be reasonable for nearly all long-standing cultures to accept even though they currently do not, with the aim of creating new common ground among them. The chapter advances some rights and responsibilities, particularly as they concern the media's role in respect of self-government and self-expression, on which many of those with African, Confucian, Islamic, and Western foundational commitments could sensibly converge.

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Thaddeus Metz
Cornell University (PhD)

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