This book focuses on what pragmatism tells us about the nature and function of communication. Its goals are to recover a singular voice of pragmatism, and to identify and develop alternative methods and aims for the philosophy of communication. It shows how pragmatism assumes and proposes a philosophy of communication that can lead to a reconceptualization of contemporary communication studies.
The authors explore recurrent themes in the tradition's various classical extensions that commend pragmatism as a methodology for social change and human development. They show that pragmatism fosters inquiry and pluralism by rejecting strategies for closure, questioning prevailing metanarratives, and encouraging the development of new habits of conduct through a critical practice that is fundamentally self-reflective.
Contributors to this volume include Mitchell Aboulafia, Thomas Alexander, Arthur Bochner and Joanne Waugh, Isaac Catt, Vincent Colapietro, Janet Horne, Richard Lanigan, Frank Macke, Mick Presnell, Charlene Haddock Seigfried, and Leonard Shyles.
Lenore Langsdorf is Professor of the Philosophy of Communication in the Speech Communication Department of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Andrew R. Smith is Assistant Professor in the Speech and Communication Studies Department at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
"This collection supplies us with a nicely balanced set of perspectives—neither dismissive nor adulatory. In the crush of contemporaneity, it's good to have the historical framework reconstructed. And the emphasis on communication creates valuable insight." — Bruce Wilshire, Rutgers University