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McKeon’s semantics of communication: A pragmatic exploration of the communicative arts

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McKeon was a pragmatist who developed a heuristic that outlined the philosophical roots behind the tensions created by the paradox of pluralism. This heuristic was based on the four main schools of ancient Greek philosophy and allowed McKeon to map out how different philosophical perspectives create different understandings of foundational concepts such as freedom, history and motion. This paper applies that heuristic to the concept of communication and demonstrates how different philosophical approaches create tension over the definition of communication. Scholars can use this application to both better approach McKeon’s pragmatism as well as gain insight into the philosophical foundations of our own perspectives of communication.
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Keywords: McKeon; metatheory; philosophical inquiry; philosophical semantics; pragmatism; schema of communication

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Christopher Newport University

Publication date: May 1, 2018

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  • Empedocles aims to provide a publication and discussion platform for those working at the interface of philosophy and the study of communication, in all its aspects. This Journal is published in cooperation with the Section for the Philosophy of Communication of ECREA, the European Communication Reserach and Education Association.
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