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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 23, Issue 1, 2013

Culture, Communication and Cognition

Zbysław Muszyński
Pages 115-127
DOI: 10.5840/du201323124

Three Message Dimensions. A Naturalistic Approach

Communication is perceived as a means of obtaining knowledge possessed by others and transmitting this knowledge from subject to subject. This process takes place in a communication area defined by a variety of parameters. The communication content (message) transmitted in the course of communication requires consideration of many aspects, therefore its description must take place in many aspects of the communication area. Messages can be distinguished in three dimensions of the communication area: (1) semantic (referential, informative); (2) subjective (individual) and (3) cultural (social). Communication theory based on the multi-dimensional character of the communication area should enable the resolution of important problems. For instance in the first dimension it should be able to solve issues relating to the transmission of the semantic properties of a message and the connected problem of the constancy of the subjective reference in successive acts of the communication process; in the second, the problem of the variability of subjective content resulting from the diversity of experience and linguistic competence; in the third, the problem concerning the existence of a community of cultural meanings and the problem concerning the mechanisms of building common representations of the world. The essay also seeks to specify theories enabling cohesive descriptions of the discussed message dimensions in keeping with the adopted naturalistic methodological and ontological assumptions.

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