Philosophy of Communication: A Logico-conceptual Approach

Keywords: game of communication, shared knowledge, understanding, metaphor, possible worlds semantics


Communication is present among human societies. The philosophy of communication studies the foundational aspects of communication. In this paper, the intention is to study how knowledge, information and ideas can be shared in communication. As a starting point, a simple game of communication is characterised. The simple game shows that it is possible to share knowledge, information and ideas. However, in communication, several different linguistic means of expressions are used. So, we must extend the communication game to include these different kinds of linguistic expressions. Metaphors offer an important class of expressions, which open new lines of thoughts. Metaphors are ‘poetically or rhetorically ambitious use of words,’ where, according to Davidson, the use of them is based on some kind of ‘artistic success’. However, this kind of characterisation does not help us to find a fruitful, semantical analysis for them. Possible worlds semantics offer a natural semantical tool which explains these peculiarities. Especially the identity of individuals becomes relativised to the methods of identification, which can be generalised to all modal contexts. This allows us to generalise the simple communication game. So, this paper explicates one aspect of the very important philosophical topic.

Cognition and Communication