The theory of perfective drift

Siebers, Johan ORCID logoORCID: (2017) The theory of perfective drift. In: Communicology for the Human Sciences: Lanigan and the Philosophy of Communication. Smith, Andrew R., Catt, Isaac E. and Klyukanov, Igor E., eds. Peter Lang, Oxford, pp. 169-190. ISBN 9781433143748, pbk-ISBN 9781433141157, e-ISBN 9781433143724, e-ISBN 9781433141140. [Book Section] (doi:10.3726/b10835)

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Again, perfection is a notion which haunts human imagination. It cannot be ignored. But its naïve attachment to the realm of forms is entirely without justification.1

—Alfred North Whitehead

The theory of which I aim to sketch a basic outline here has to be understood as a philosophical theory of communication. Our first task, then, will be to clarify what sets a philosophical theory of communication apart from other communication theories. It is here that the contemporary scholar feels deep gratitude towards the work of Richard Lanigan. For he has, over many years and in many publications, drawn our attention like few others to the specifically philosophical aspects of communication as a concept and as a phenomenon. In particular, I wish to refer here to his seminal explorations in the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty.2 Any reading of Merleau-Ponty’s mature philosophical writings cannot fail to give us the strong impression that questions of communication were central to his investigations, but it is the contribution of Lanigan, and others, to have shown just how central the theme of communication is to Merleau-Ponty’s embodied phenomenology of relationality and expression are; and more so to have begun to make this phenomenological approach fruitful for the whole field of communication studies.

In an early publication on this topic, Lanigan highlighted the dialectical relation that exists between perception and expression in Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology.3 These functions...

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 24299
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript that has been published in Communicology for the Human Sciences: Lanigan and the Philosophy of Communication edited by Andrew R. Smith and Isaac E. Catt and Igor E. Klyukanov. The original work can be found at:
© copyright Peter Lang AG), 2017. All rights reserved
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Depositing User: Johan Siebers
Date Deposited: 29 May 2018 11:43
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 20:20

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