Saturday, January 26, 2008

Habermas meets McLuhan

The term "Communicative Action" is a theory put forth by German philosopher Jurgen Habermas, described at Wikipedia as "agency in the form of communication, which under his understanding is restricted to deliberation, i.e the free exchange of beliefs and intentions under the absence of domination." The title of this blog owes much to Habermas' ideas, but is at the same time a critical look at the various media of communication which shape and drive our human environment. The work of Marshall McLuhan, and others in his great tradition, cover this aspect of my blog. The combination of these philosophies provides the intersection required to paint a picture of our culture and indeed the governance of our society.

When you visit this blog, you will find issues surrounding communication as a formative catalyst for culture. The analysis of symbolic forms and the measure of abstraction in our media environment are crucial issues in need of closer examination. When Habermas describes deliberation as the free exchange of beliefs and intentions under the absence of domination, he points in some way to the system of filtering that exists in mass media which reduces important issues to their highest levels of abstraction and twists the messages important to deliberation in the media of commercial and political spin.

Communicative Action will attempt to put the spotlight on these issues and boil them down to a deeper and more comprehensive examination, free of the fog which rolls in via mass media outlets. Much of the content here is opinion. I will always endeavor to present my opinion with supporting background information and arguments based as much in science as possible. In the end, however, these opinions are open to deliberation. Participation in this forum, and in the deliberation of opinions on the issues presented, is Communicative Action.

Away we go.

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