Communication Ethics Definitions


‘Communication is the new dimension which life brings…'

Edgar Morin, 1992, p.255.

Communication Ethics

A formal definition for the study of communication ethics prescribes how communication is defined by ‘numerous & multiple logics of interaction’.

All life interacts – monkeys, fish, insects, even bacteria, etc. – as do our technical systems, which mimic or reflect natural patterns of communicative logic.

Yes, the non-living world interacts, for example planetary motion around our Sun.

However, such interaction pales in consideration of the interactions of life.

Although, the entire Universe may indeed be alive, in which case our life interactions are complex at another scale!

Life is complex, so complex we have not yet catalogued the number of species on our one Living Planet Earth and certainly not protected the quadrillions of life forms we depend on for human life.

As R.B. Fuller once said, ‘the opposite of Nature is madness,’ which comment appears to sum up much of human civilization as collective enterprise today.

Communication logic defines how life is formally examined through its interactions using citizen oversight and methodological inquiry.

The public reasons given for communicative interaction, using the best scientific logic (see blog, The Logics of Science), given as explanation for their use.

All questions are, effectually civic, related to the private realm, yet distinct, the public realm.

A critical question then arises.

For what reasons do we, or other lifeforms, communicate, logically or not in the public realm?

Specifically, how do people, ‘human communities,’ use communication inquiry as a reflection of and investigation into these logics of life interaction?

This definitive question – how do we define the purpose of life itself, as well as the purpose of our communication about our lives – is answered by the call to undertake a human inquiry based on life-values or ethics.

Ethics, driven by our natural and subjective examination into the values of life, operates as the underlying human capacity to make sense of our always multiple world [s].

Communicative reasoning, decisions and rule-making, amount to a public logic grounded in individual and collective life values.

There is literally no-place outside our own subjectivity, or the personal life values that shape each of us, except the logic of clear ‘valuation practices’ that science supports and confirms.

This analysis admits we are biological, subjective and encultured 'species-beings' — with multiple biases, flaws, confusions — yet each capable of collective adaptation through group sense making connected to our personal intelligence.

No longer, however, determined by the anthropomorphic — top down — model of 'government authority', but organised via a model of distributed intelligence using network technologies, where group intelligence powers each node on the network.

Literally, everything is changed by life-protecting species-wide human adaptation, based on network economics and data models of value.

As Nelson Mandela exclaimed at the end of his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech (1993), 'Let a New Age Dawn'.

It has.