Ethics compels us to ask “What ought I to do?” amidst competing values in a given situation. When ethics involves choices related to communication, such as how one responds, creates a [Page 195]message, or weighs the impact of a message, it becomes a question of communication ethics. Indeed, every form of communication is centered on a value or set of values. Communication ethics is based on the idea that ethics emerges from and occurs within communication itself. Instead of “What ought I to do?” communication ethics compels us to ask, “How ought I to respond?” It takes up concerns about how, in the absence of a universal, overarching ethical perspective in today’s world, we can best live together amidst often incommensurable differences. Communication ...
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