Building Communication Science through the Blueprints of D. C. Dennett and Robert Pirsig

Authored by: Joseph N. Cappella

The Handbook of Communication Science and Biology

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815376712
eBook ISBN: 9781351235587
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter chronicles a personal journey in communication science, arguing that comprehensive scholarship and well-grounded explanation about human communication cannot reduce the biological to an afterthought but rather that human communication occurs centrally in and through and to bodies. How one conceptualizes human communication affects how one theorizes and researches the problems that arise from communicative endeavors. Some reflections on communication theory have disallowed a role to biological and bio-behavioral perspectives, but such views miss the necessary complementarity of epistemological approaches espoused by philosophers such as Robert Pirsig and D. C. Dennett. Their epistemologies invite a central role for the bio-behavioral in working toward a complete description of communication processes.

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