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Inquiring into Communication in Science: Alternative Approaches

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 November 2009

Anton Oleinik*
Affiliation:
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Argument

This article focuses on a problematic character of communication in science. Two solutions are compared: paradigm-based science (the natural sciences model and its extension to the social sciences as represented by economics) and the semiotic solution developed in the arts and social sciences. There are several parallels between the latter approach and Marxist dialectics. A third, original, approach to solving communication problems is proposed; it can be labeled “transactional.” It represents a version of the semiotic solution with particular emphasis on interactions, both face-to-face and depersonalized, and the imperative of negotiating and finding compromises. Communication problems existing at two registers of interactions, face-to-face and depersonalized, are differentiated; freedom is interpreted as the capacity to change the registers at will. An in-depth case study of the Coase theorem in economic sciences and legal studies illustrates key points in the proposed analysis.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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