CFP – Universal Pragmatics

Posted on May 25, 2007


ECREA Section for the Philosophy of Communication First Bi-Annual Conference


Rethinking communication theory seems to be in vogue again. Even though it is dangerous to seek to predict future theoretical trends, the field of communication theory seems likely to continue to generate much attention. And yet, this field still disguises what might be uncovered: its analytical background and the constraints resulting from an implicit incorporation of philosophical thinking into current communication theory in its various manifestations.

This first conference of the Philosophy of Communication Section sets out to create an environment in which to discuss the analytical and philosophical determinants of communication theory. Theories in the rich field of communication and media studies sometimes appear numbed by their own belief in a phenomenology grounded in technical-instrumental analyses. Terms like media and medium are held to refer unquestioningly to an ontological foundation. And whilst several sciences focus on aspects of uncertainty and risk in communication and information processing, communication and media studies pursue their crusade in the name of an approximate measurement of medial effects.

Socio-political and ethical interpretations of communication and media need to be linked to recent advances in communication theory, and to epistemological accounts of communication and media. A critical interrogation of the potential for the self-reflection of communication theory is therefore opportune. This conference is the first of ECREA’s Philosophy of Communication Section biannual conference series. It tries to uncover new pathways deriving from a renewed examination of communication theories’ philosophical axioms and fundamentals.

The organizers invite contributors to submit an abstract of 400 words (approx.) with a brief biography including contact information on a separate cover sheet before July 1st 2007 for the reviewing process. The objectives of the Philosophy of Communication Section emphasize support of early career researchers. On this note, the section encourages PhD-students’ contributions and offers a dual review process for those contributions whose first submission might need some revision. To participate in this process, papers should be submitted before June 15th 2007. The section is planning a collection of essays entitled Beyond Universal Pragmatics and will select the best contributions for inclusion in the book series Interdisciplinary Communication Studies.

Contributions should be written and presented in English.