Archive for publications, December 2018

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[Commlist] Empedocles: European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication 9.2 is now available

Mon Dec 17 18:01:49 GMT 2018

Intellect is excited to announce that Empedocles: European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication 9.2 is now available! For more information about the issue, click here >>


*The Dao of communication*
Authors: Adrian Pablé And  Johan Siebers

Cross-cultural communication and the art of sign-making
Authors:  Charlotte Conrad

Traditional western linguistics portrays language as a fixed code and the language user as a code operator. Accordingly, knowing the code should guarantee the ability to communicate well. Yet asymmetrical cultural backgrounds in communicating agents can be seen to compromise or enable communication in ways that are not explainable based on this view. I suggest that we can move beyond this anomaly in our current understanding of language and communication by changing our minds on human perception so as to encompass the individual contribution. I describe sign-making as an act of perception that helps the perceiver find the interaction potential in a situation, and look at how such an account can better accommodate an understanding of what happens during cross-cultural communication.

*Media as mediation: Régis Debray’s medium theory and its implications as a perspective*
Authors: Luo Shicha

In recent years, the translation of Debray’s writings and the study of his media thoughts have become increasingly popular in China, but the ‘medium’ in his media discourse has never been clarified. Debray pointed out that the focus of the media is ‘mediation’, which actually reveals a new way of thinking and reasoning. He then proposed four stages of mediological reasoning: Message, Medium, Milieu and Mediation. This article believes that based on this framework (i.e. 4M), Debray used McLuhan’s theory as a hub for analysis and launched a set of research methods and tools aimed at exploring the multiple nature of medium and message on the sense of interaction between culture and technology, which also involved the utility of ‘mediasphere’ as an exploration principle to question the past and future of mankind and the media conditions. This approach provides an avenue for us to understand ourselves and transmissions in different space-time categories at both practical and theoretical levels. This article emphasizes that it is better not to interpret Debray’s thoughts as a theory parallel to the existing medium theories because its focus is on research approaches rather than arguments. Besides, although Debray’s medium theory is based on his experience and thinking in Europe and Latin America, there are reasons for the publicity of Debray’s ideology in China. From the perspective of history, culture and human geography, Chinese civilization can be said to contain rich ideological resources of mediation. This is of great significance to re-understand China’s history and reality in the new context of globalization, and to discover the global value of China’s experience.

*Revisiting the materiality of signs: collective enunciation, landscaping, and the autoglottic space*
Authors: Jasper Zhao Zhen Wu

Taking the semiotic landscaping of the Occupy Movement in Hong Kong in 2014 as an example, the article explores the semiotic relation between the materialization of signs and the constitution of a collectivity. Juxtaposing the concepts of ‘collective assemblage of enunciation’, ‘landscaping’ and ‘autoglottic space’, the article argues that collective enunciations are not autonomous from human agency. Instead, collective enunciations can be created by deliberate de-subjectification and de-personification in the materialization of signs.

*China is a hare: The articulation of national identity in Year Hare Affair*
Authors: Xuanxuan Tan

National identity is dynamic and dialogic, and its maintenance and reproduction have become increasingly fragmented and fractured. Although recent studies have discerned different modes of articulating national identity, very few studies have focused on youth culture and the maintenance and reproduction of national identity in China. Therefore, this study analyses metaphors, discursive practices and ideologies in the Chinese animation Na nian na tu na xie shi er (Year Hare Affair) using a coherent theoretical framework of multimodal metaphor and critical discourse analysis. First, four genres of multimodal metaphors are identified in animation. Next, this study analyses the ideologies and discursive practices of metaphors and argues that elements of what is called ‘ACG subculture’ – due to its focus on animation, comics and games – articulate elements of dominant culture by raising semantic conflicts in metaphor scenarios. The practice of articulation-produced national identity is informed by the conceptual metaphor CHINA IS A HARE. This metaphor, suggesting historic endurance and the lineage of the Chinese spirit, is an ideologically vested euphemism for national identity that embraces a dual notion of identity that is both national and individual. Finally, the novel reproduction of an endogenous and heterogeneous national identity in animation provides us with space to re-imagine the interplay between national identity, dominant ideology and Chinese youth.

*Hegemony, semiogenesis and the emergence of self-consciousness in Gramsci’s view: A Gramscian reading of integrationism*
Authors: Gianluigi Sassu

*Was Confucius teaching us how to do things with words? Reflections on ethics in language and communication*
Authors: Feifei Zhou And Xiyin Zhou

As observed by both western and Chinese scholars, despite the cultural and historical distance between them, the works of Confucius and J. L. Austin (together with other scholars of speech act theory) share similar views on the performative dimensions of language. Speech act theory underscores how utterances constitute actions instead of reporting inner mental states of the speakers, while Confucian texts also draw attention to the embeddedness of language in the wider contexts of personal affairs and social order. In this article, we conduct a detailed comparison of the two to demonstrate that their views on language and communication, although sharing some important concerns, differ significantly in two main aspects: (1) The relationship between one’s ‘internal’ cultivation and ‘external’ behaviours; (2) The conceptualization of language and ethics. In conclusion, we discuss the implications of a Confucian outlook for the study of language and communication and point out some directions for future research.

*Are integrationists sceptics?*
Authors: David Eisenschitz

Integrationism advocates a radical epistemological reform in semiological theory. It is a relatively recent perspective, developed by Oxford Professor Roy Harris (1931–2015); yet integrationism’s main principles are best seen as the outcome of different timid trends in the history of theories of language. The epistemological exigencies that this perspective puts on theorists has often provoked reproaches that this perspective was too negative, nihilistic, destructive, a form of scepticism. This article takes this criticism at its word and outlines a comparison between the main form of scepticism known in Greek Antiquity, Pyrrhonism, and integrationism. A historical outline of the development of both movements is drawn, for context. Then particular issues serve as comparison points between both: the definition of doctrinal cohesion; the relation of each intellectual movement to ‘science’; the use of particular forms of arguments or ‘modes’; and some specific aspects of language-use that Pyrrhonism has addressed.
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