Heidegger, Habermas and the Mobile Phone (Postmodern by George Myerson

By George Myerson

International cellular telephony is on the innovative of the communications revolution. Humanity, for Martin Heidegger, is 'the entity that talks'; Jurgen Habermas is a passionate recommend of actual human interplay. either are key thinkers during this come across among alien visions of communique and the utopianism of the twentieth and twenty first centuries.

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The ‘other’ in the communication is a network, not an agent. Of course, many good things can happen—and I’m quite as likely to use it as anyone else. But that’s the point. These good things are going to lend credibility to the language of the campaign which surrounds the mobile phone. It is by no means necessary for the technology and its advantages to be wrapped up in this particular model of communication. There are all sorts of alternatives that one can easily imagine—indeed, you only have to compare the 52 WHAT DO YOU LEARN FROM COMMUNICATION?

A society that does not communicate will not give its members the chance to feel that their experience adds up to any kind of coherent whole. Education, then, in this view would be all about supporting the feeling of ‘intelligibility’ by opening out lines of communication. Not that Heidegger ignored information in his approach to either knowledge or communication. Here is his rather elaborate idea: ‘Communication’ in which one makes assertions giving information, for instance—is a special case of that communication which is grasped in principle 58 WHAT DO YOU LEARN FROM COMMUNICATION?

Evolution favours those organisms which (or who) respond with insight. Their response follows from a sense of the meaning both of their own gesture and that of the other. Habermas is clearly talking of pre-verbal gestures: we are in the world of apes, maybe, or even dogs, or perhaps birds on a branch or lizards in the sun. So when you look again at the Bloomingdale’s scenario, you get an alarming picture, as if evolution were being thrown backwards, as if under the guise of progress there were an immense degeneration.

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