Cognitive Aspects of the Studies of Communication

by Borislav, Lorenc

Abstract (Summary)
The study starts off as a quest for the core meaning of the term communication. First, the epistemological grounds of the endeavour are investigated. Findings of experientialist cognition, backed up by e.g. Putnam’s results, indicate that intentionality as understood by traditional cognitive science might be an incomplete story; so, in parallel, constructivist approaches are investigated. The two approaches are here termed as linear and recursive models, respectively.Through introducing the conduit metaphor and the mathematical theory of communication, the question of whether communication consists of a transfer is discussed. Arguments are presented to the effect that the mathematical theory neither does support this understanding, nor appears to be applicable (but as a cognitive model) outside the domains where probabilities are assigned to outcomes.Communication research in three areas is presented: investigations from an ethological perspective, process approaches to human communication, and the study of the signification relation. Finally, a review of some work on simulations of communication and collective behaviour is given.In conclusion, intentionality is required for the communicating entities, which – based on some of the arguments presented in this study – leaves inanimate objects, plants, bacteria, and most of the animal world (except molluscs, crustaceans, and vertebrates) outside the communicating world. Communication incorporates signs, and signs are interpreted. In the process, meaning is created. The objectivist science ideal of pointing to an appropriate event and claiming "This is real communication" has to be substituted by offering descriptions of some idealised cognitive models. One might argue about these, accept them, or reject them; this is what communication (amongst other things) is (and is for).In general, if it is understood that there is no possibility of reaching ‘objective’, observer-independent knowledge, another way of reaching more certainty than what just an individual can get might be to turn to others. It is this that brings cognition and communication into close relationship.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Högskolan i Skövde

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:11/07/2007

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