Semio-Ethics and Photography: Camera, Common Goods and the Natural Law
23 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2013
Date Written: December 2, 2013
This paper is an effort to detail what I believe semioethics can mean, and what a "semio-ethical" (c.f. Petrilli, passim) research method can look like. By drawing on John Finnis’ Natural Law and Natural Rights (1980), I argue that the quest for focal meanings is a kind of semioethical project. I then consider how such a project might look like across different fields, say, in the study of photography. This turns out rather fruitful, on two counts. First, this leads to further clarifications of the philosophical benefits of the semioethical development of focal meanings, and secondly these semioethical studies of photography and the camera supply empirical, triangulating evidence for the claims new natural law theory makes regarding the reality of the natural law identifying basic, common goods that are choiceworthy in themselves.
Keywords: semioethics, photography, natural law, empirical support
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