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.Examplifying 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.
Clifford G. Christians is Research Professor of Communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, and his books include Media Ethics: Cases and Moral Reasoning, now in its 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.
Introduction by Clifford G. Christians and John C. Merrill; Part I. The Altruistic Stance: Loyalty to Others; Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama: Universal Compassion by John C. Merrill; Jesus: Loving Neighbors by Mary Hulst; John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism by Raphael Cohen-Almagor; Carol Gilligan: Ethics of Care by Lee Wilkins; Martin Luther King Jr.: Personalism by William Babcock; Mother Teresa: Ethics of Sacrifice by Janice Hume; Part II. The Egoistic Stance: Loyalty to Self; Aristotle: Self-Development by Lee Anne Peck; Nietzsche: Becoming an Ubermensch by Clifford G. Christians; Machiavelli: Pragmatic Realism by John C. Merrill; Camus: The Rebellious Spirit by David Gunkel; Kautilya of India: Social Egoism by John C. Merrill; Ayn Rand: Rational Self-Interest by John C. Merrill; Part III. The Autonomy Stance: Loyalty to Freedom; Henry David Thoreau: Value of Solitude by Stephanie Craft; John Locke: Natural Rights by Patrick Lee Plaisance; Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Courage v. Authority by Ronald C. Arnett; Paulo Freire: Face Saving and Communication by Ronald C. Arnett; Hannah Arendt: Public as Authority by Maurine Beasley; Part IV. The Legalist Stance: Loyalty to Authority; Plato: Elite Norms by Lee Anne Peck; Muhammad: Honor-Centered Morality by Mohammad A. Siddiqi; Kant: Importance of Duty by Lee Anne Peck; Moses: Deontological Norms by William Babcock; Hobbes: Submission to Leviathan by Stephen J. A. Ward; Part V. The Communitarian Stance: Loyalty to the Community; Confucius: Ethics of Character by Virginia Whitehouse; Gandhi: Fellowship of Power by Lee Wilkins; Marx: Transcending Alienation by Jon Bekken; Dewey: Democratic Conversation by Lee Wilkins; Habermas: Consensus and Citizenship by David S. Allen; Levinas: Priority of the Other by Ronald C. Arnett.