A new wave of pragmatism in communication research
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pragmatism, communication theory, experience, Craig, James

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Pavchuk, M.-K. (2020). A new wave of pragmatism in communication research. Multiversum. Philosophical Almanac, 2(1), 187-198. https://doi.org/10.35423/2078-8142.2020.2.1.11


It provides a brief overview of James' pragmatic empiricism, Dewey's empiricism, Rorty's neo-pragmatist ideas, and an overview of Craig's metamodels on communication theory. Based on this review, the author substantiates the need for radicalization of pragmatism and analyzes its impact on communication research. The essay argues that all communication theories are mutually relevant when addressed to a practical lifeworld in which “communication” is already a richly meaningful term. Each tradition of communication theory derives from and appeals rhetorically to certain commonplace beliefs about communication while challenging other beliefs. The complementarities and tensions among traditions generate a theoretical metadiscourse that intersects with and potentially informs the ongoing practical metadiscourse in society. In a tentative scheme of the field, rhetorical, semiotic, phenomenological, cybernetic, socio‐psychological, sociocultural, and critical traditions of communication theory are distinguished by characteristic ways of defining communication and problems of communication, metadiscursive vocabularies, and metadiscursive commonplaces that they appeal to and challenge. Topoi for argumentation across traditions are suggested and implications for theoretical work and disciplinary practice in the field are considered. So, from the point of view of Robert Craig, the whole theory of communication is a kind of metadiscourse, a way of speaking about speaking, which receives most of its credibility and interest through a rhetorical appeal to the well-known truths of everyday practical metadiscourse. On this basis, the researcher builds a coherent agreed field of a unified communication theory, each element of which refers to its own set of "common truths" and critically examines the other elements included in the field.

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James W. (2000). Introduction to philosophy. Moscow: Republic. Retrieved from: https://www.socionauki.ru/almanac/noo21v/number_2/1_1_5_2.pdf [In Russi-an].

Dewey D. (2002). Philosophical encyclopedic dictionary. Kyiv: Hryhoriy Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine: Abris. [In Ukrainian].

Rorty R. (1996). Coincidence, irony and solidarity. RFO. Retrieved from: file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/contingency.pdf [In Russian].

Bertrand R. (1921). The Analysis of Mind. Macmillan. Retrieved from: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2529/2529-h/2529-h.htm

Craig R.T. (1999). Communication Theory as a Field. Communication Theory, Vol. 9, Is. 2, 119-161.

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