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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2018

27. Toward an Interpretive Framework: Neuroethical Considerations for Media Ethics

From the book Communication and Media Ethics

  • Rhema Zlaten


Neuroethical considerations offer a psychological and empirical understanding of how people make ethical decisions. As the field of media ethics strives for greater maturity and depth, the empirical evidence gained through tools from time-tested fields such as neuroethics will fuel the philosophical and ethical theory building needed to understand the ethical components of the new media landscape. This chapter explores a brief history of the multidisciplinary field of neuroethics, practical applications of neuroethics to media ethics, methodological and cultural concerns posed by neuroethical theories and how neuroethical findings impact the future of media ethics. Neuroethical findings help discern not just individual patterns of ethical decision-making happening in media practitioners, but also the commonalities of ethical responses that supersede cultural boundaries. Both levels of analysis are needed to move beyond a descriptive media ethic and into an interpretive media ethic. As media professions expand in both individual and global ways, ethical theory building must offer the flexibility for understanding and informing the changing practices of and demands on media practitioners. Using neuroscience discoveries to mine the psychological variables of ethical decision-making is one key to understanding new journalism culture and one answer to help strengthen the field of media ethics.

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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