Better Mousetrap? Of Emerson, Ethics, and Postmillennium Persuasion

Journal of Mass Media Ethics 16 (2-3):176-192 (2001)
Authors
Abstract
Ralph Waldo Emerson reputedly said, "If you build a better mouse trap, the world will beat a path to your door." In this article, Emerson's actual quote is seen to infer a simple rule: quality supply attracts quantity demand. Such a rule could imply that enitre businesses related to persuasion, such as public relations, advertising, and marketing seem at best unnecessary and at worst unethical. However, Emerson's logic may not apply in modern market places driven by multiple competing images. This article proposes eithical thresholds for persuasion and examines the relationship of these thresholds to public relations theory. Two case studies are analyzed in which better-mousetrap logic is applied to test the viability of these thresholds.
Keywords persuasion  marketing  Ralph Waldo Emerson
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1207/S15327728JMME1602&3_7
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 35,423
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Five Baselines for Justification in Persuasion.Sherry Baker - 1999 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 14 (2):69 – 81.
The New Industrial State.John Kenneth Galbraith - 1968 - Science and Society 32 (2):244-253.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Can Natural Law Defend Advertising?Jeffrey J. Maciejewski - 2003 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 18 (2):111 – 122.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Emerson-the Philosopher of Democracy.John Dewey - 1903 - International Journal of Ethics 13 (4):405-413.
The Nexus of Unity of an Emerson Sentence.Kelly Dean Jolley - 2009 - The European Legacy 14 (5):549-560.
Emerson's Antislavery Writings.Ralph Waldo Emerson (ed.) - 1995 - Yale University Press.
True Romance: Emerson's Realism.Joseph Urbas - 2009 - Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (2):113-147.
Argumentation as Rational Persuasion.J. Anthony Blair - 2012 - Argumentation 26 (1):71-81.
Cavell's 'Moral Perfectionism' or Emerson's 'Moral Sentiment'?Joseph Urbas - 2010 - European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 2 (2):41-53.
Brahma.Ralph Waldo Emerson - unknown - In Various (ed.), Emerson Poems.
Emerson.Lawrence Buell - 2003 - Harvard University Press.
The Portable Emerson.Carl Bode (ed.) - 1981 - Penguin Books.
Emerson and the Limits of Language.Andrew Fiala - 2004 - Idealistic Studies 34 (3):285-302.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
15 ( #385,963 of 2,284,949 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #387,651 of 2,284,949 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes

Sign in to use this feature