The Ethical Turn: Communication as a Manifestation of the Ethical


This paper calls for an ethical turn in communication. It offers a re-evaluation of Weaver’s metaphor on communication as exchanges of information and develops Buber’s and Peters’ ideas on communication as manifestation of the ethical, where the ethical is described as openness to otherness and communication is viewed as a tension between reproduction of Self and reconciliation with alterity. It argues that mutuality is not a necessary condition for the ethical because it involves intimacy that can only be discrete, and that end of theodicy is not the end of the ethical because the ethical is a space of profound intimacy, beyond preachment. Extreme cases of annihilation of otherness such as genocides in all their stages and variations, can’t be described as rational in some cases than others and have deeper roots than modernity. The ethical turn within socio-political conflicts and genocidal process meets challenges such as the patriarchal order, implantations and involvement of the third, dehumanization, isolation for larger contexts, traumatic disorders, and states of denial. However, the potential of communication as reconciliation is enhanced by insights in intercultural communication, nurturing of hybrid cultures, and distance taking techniques such as time distance, attention/topic shift, emotions such as feelings of awe and art.

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Martinovski, B. (2014) The Ethical Turn: Communication as a Manifestation of the Ethical. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2, 119-133. doi: 10.4236/jss.2014.21012.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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