Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 1, No 2 (2005)

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Philosophy of Communication: What Does it Have to do With Philosophy of Social Sciences

Jean Robillard


As concepts, communication and information are very closely related, but they also designate more than their usual conceptual meaning when they are called upon in social theories as well as in philosophical theories about the reality and the truth of social life; information and communication are then designating physical events or event like objects of the observable reality, which will be hereafter described as a procedural ontologization of information. Why do they have this role and how do they play it in contemporary social sciences and philosophy of social sciences? This article questions the scientificity of these concepts in these theoretical contexts. It wants to propose a framework for an epistemology of communication and information that is critical about the cybernetician paradigm in the social sciences. It presents this paradigm’s main features: informational ontology and probabilistic sociality. It offers a critique of this paradigm’s epistemological and methodological pretensions. It finally exposes the basis of an alternative philosophical theory of communication that wants to support the thesis that the cybernetician paradigmatic communication theory is not scientifically productive; and that it cannot be used in social scientific theoretical contexts without being dramatically redesigned and reoriented towards new goals.

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