Group Names: Morten Steensgaard ( ), Morten Stein ( ), Julie Berggreen
( & Siemen Baader ( )
J.D. Peters – The problem of communication
Q 1: A1:
A) statement theses B) conclusion
“I aim to trace the sources of modern ideas of communication and to understand why the modern
experience of communication is so often marked by felt impasses” (pg. 15)
“Communication…the term evokes a utopia where nothing is misunderstood, hearts are open, and
expression is uninhibited” (pg.16)
To this we say: Peters thinks that communication as it is understood until today is treated as a problem –
which he thinks is a falsified perception and understanding of this. He states that the ideal is off – and
wishes it to be:
“The task is to recognize the creature’s otherness, not to make it over in one’s own likeness and image.
The ideal of communication, as Adorno said, would be a condition in which the only thing that survives the
disgraceful fact of our mutual difference is the delight that difference makes possible”
To this we say: The purpose for Peters is to find a common ground, where from each person can accept
the others person’s differences. So we shouldn’t state differences as a problem, but rather see these
differences as the core of his ideal for communication.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Q2: A2:
The globalization that we’re experiencing today, among medias such as facebook and twitter, are good
examples of media that allows people from all over the world to merge and share. This done with a focus
on sharing individual thoughts and elements of their life through photos, political views etc. rather than
having a focus of differention.
Q3: A3:
Peters goes over a variety of historical approaches to communication – though with a primary focus on the
time after the 1920’ies. We decided to draw the conclusions from 3 of these persons and objectives on
Ogden & Richards:
o Semantic perspective
o The ideal is the complete transfer of thoughts & minds
o Attempt to purify language by defining terms exactly
o Dislike the mixing of statements and emotives
o Purists who see language as necessary but flawed instrument
Martin Heidegger:
o Views language as precondition of thought
o Communication is no simple transmission of thought, but a consequence of existing
together with other human beings
o We exist ‘a priori’ to communication (as he in “Sein und Zeit” is busy on his Ontological
pursuit, and uses this as an argument (“…we are Thrown into existence in this world”)
o Unlike Ogden & Richards, he is not worried about loss of concise meaning, but
John Dewey:
o Pragmatic (disapproved semantic views on communication)
o Critiques the 1920ies’ amusement culture for being used as a surrogate for interpersonal
human contact
o Sees communication as participation in the collective world
Dewey approach is in a way in line with Peters. As Peters sees communication as a core ideal for modern
A4 A4:
A recent exemplification of a constructivist viewed situation: an actor plays a Robot, and the approximately
half of the audience actually buys into the concept and believes that the actor is a robot, regardless of the
fact that they know that they’re watching a play in a theatre. In parallel terms, one might state – that we in
many situations believe things, that we perhaps shouldn’t believe - due to the factual knowledge at hand.
In this line you could see communication as a persuasion of what you accept to believe.