Cognitive Constraints on Communication: Representations and by Teun A. Van Dijk (auth.), Lucia Vaina, Jaakko Hintikka

By Teun A. Van Dijk (auth.), Lucia Vaina, Jaakko Hintikka (eds.)

Communication is among the so much demanding human phenomena, and an analogous is right of its paradigmatic verbal awareness as a discussion. not just is conversation the most important for almost all interpersonal relatives; discussion is frequently noticeable as supplying us additionally a paradigm for vital intra-individual techniques. the simplest identified instance is surely the belief of concep­ tualizing considering as an inner discussion, "inward discussion carried on by way of the brain inside itself with no spoken sound", as Plato referred to as it within the Sophist. initially, the research of conversation looks too vaguely defmed to have a lot promise. it really is as much as us, in an effort to converse, to choose what to claim and the way to assert it. even if, on eloser scrutiny, the method of verbal exchange is visible to be topic to numerous sophisticated constraints. they're due inter alia to the character of the events of the communicative act, and most significantly, to the homes of the language or different approach to illustration presupposed in that particuIar act of conversation. it's as a result no longer dazzling that during the examine of verbal exchange as a cognitive procedure the serious concerns revolve round the nature of the representations and the character of the computations that create, continue and interpret those representations. The time period "repre­ sentation" as used right here exhibits a selected approach of specifying information regarding a given subject.

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Practice has proved that the capacity to keep the contact is eo ipso a way to substitute violent aetions" says Mircea Malita (Theory and Practice of Negotiations (in Romanian), Editura politic"ä, Bucharest, 1972, p. 150). The most dangerous symptom of deterioration of international relations is the ceasing of funetioning of ehanne1s of international communication. Thus, keeping the peace is to a large extent the art ofkeeping at least some ehanne1s functioning at any given time. But keeping the contact (with any price) may have so me negative implications over the cognitive function of communication.

Each ofthe constitutive factors of human communication determines a different function: the referential (or cognitive) function, oriented towards the meaning of the message, is concerned with the objective content of the message transmitted; the expressive function is focused on the addresser and aims a direct expression of the addresser's attitude towards what he is speaking about; the conative function is oriented towards the addressee (see, for instance, the vocative and the imperative); the phatic function serves to establish, to prolong or to discontinue communication, to check whether the channel works; the metalinguistic function permits the control of the functioning of the code; the poetic function is oriented towards the message (its intrinsic properties, for instance its metaphorical power).

In the former a basis of mutually recognized validity claims is presupposed, whereas this is not the case in the latter. Habermas speaks of a communicative attitude, which allows us to reach a direct understanding oriented to validity claims, and of a strategie attitude, which, by contrast, permits only an indirect understanding via determinative indicators. The communicative action may be oftwo types: it can be oriented either to reaching understanding or to a consensual action (where agreement about implicitly raised validity claims can be presupposed as a background of consensus by reason of common definitions of the situations; such agreement, as Habermas observes, is supposed to be arrived at in action oriented to reaching understanding, when strategic elements may be employed under the proviso that they are meant to lead to a direct understanding).

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