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COMM 133F Ethical Problems in Communication


The study and practice of ethical communication begins with a consideration of values, both personal and social, and the realization that acting in accordance with our values entails choices about the ways we interact with others. It is the clash between competing values and between conflicting ethical principles or responsibilities that makes many moral choices so difficult. In this class, you will learn to identify and articulate the values that contribute to your identity as a moral individual, and you will become familiar with a variety of theories and principles that can guide you in making ethically sound communicative choices. Among the ethical problems in communication that we will consider are telling lies, breaking promises, keeping (or divulging) secrets, and using coercive or abusive language to influence others. Course lectures and readings are designed to assist you in developing your ability to identify ethical problems and make sound moral choices in wide a variety of communicative situations.