Universals Without Absolutes: A Theory of Media Ethics

Journal of Media Ethics 31 (4):198-214 (2016)
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The global turn in media ethics has presented a tough challenge for traditional models of moral theory: How do we assert common moral standards while also showing respect for the values of those from outside the Western tradition? The danger lies in advocating for either extreme: reason-dependent absolutism or cultural relativism. In this paper, I reject Cliff Christian’s attempts to solve the problem and propose instead a moral theory of universal standards that are discovered via a mix of rationally grounded methods. Such universality refutes relativism but, because it is grounded in evolutionary naturalism and life-world philosophy—as opposed to a Kantian or theological transcendentalism—it also avoids absolutism.



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Christopher Meyers
California State University, Bakersfield

Citations of this work

Realism, Correspondence, and Expertise.Christopher Meyers - 2019 - American Journal of Bioethics 19 (11):76-77.
Pragmatist Media Ethics and the Challenges of Fake News.Scott R. Stroud - 2019 - Journal of Media Ethics 34 (4):178-192.

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References found in this work

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe.
Principles of biomedical ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by James F. Childress.
Principia ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Thomas Baldwin.
Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.

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