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Sign Systems Studies

Volume 48, Issue 1, 2020

Johan Siebers
Pages 146-158

Philosophy as communication theory

There has been comparatively little attention for the fundamental ontology of communication in recent philosophy. Nevertheless, from classical metaphysical accounts of relationality and communal being to the analysis of intersubjectivity in phenomenology and to concrete existence as understood by process philosophy, the communicative structure of the act of being has been, if not explicitly then implicitly, a perennial component of metaphysical reflection. Communication theory can be conceived in such a way that it takes this ontological dimension into account. The ramifications of connecting being to communication in this way are explored in discussion with the conceptualizations of communication in integrationism and biosemiotics. An interpretation of Gabriel Marcel’s existential analysis of “my life” is used to show what philosophy as communication theory (in the strong sense of the notion elaborated here) might look like.

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