Research in Public Relations and Organisational Communication
Edited By Andrea Catellani, Ansgar Zerfass and Ralph Tench
Public Relations. Levinas’ Call for Ethics and Justice
Levinas’ Call for Ethics and Justice
Ronald C. ARNETT
Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA1
This chapter links public relations ethics to the perspective of the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. It is divided into three parts. The first part frames points of significance in public relations ethics scholarship that point in the direction of Levinas’ thinking. The author discusses the book by Johanna Fawkes, Public Relations Ethics and Professionalism: The Shadow of Excellence. In the second part, the discussion about the contribution of Johanna Fawkes and some additional scholarship in public relations ethics underlines three major “coordinates” for an ethical approach to public relations: acknowledge imperfection, acknowledge partisanship based on rational and non-rational impulses, and acknowledge the limits of provinciality. The last part of the chapter presents some major aspects of Levinas’ philosophical perspective on ethics and justice and links Levinas’ ideas with the everyday decision-making of public relations professionals.
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