Publication 4988

Krippendorff K. (1994) A recursive theory of communication. In: Crowley D. & Mitchell D. (eds.) Communication theory today. Cambridge Polity Press, Cambridge: 78–104. Fulltext at
Excerpt: This is an essay in human communication. It contains “communication,” mentions and is, hence, about communication, but, what is important here yet often overlooked in other essays, it also is communication to its readers. This exemplifies that no statement, no essay and no theory can say anything about communication without also being communication to someone. Among the scientific discourses, this is an unusual fact – fact in the sense of having been made or realized – and I suggest it is constitutive of communication scholarship that its discourse is included in what it is about and, therefore, cannot escape the self-reference this entails. If I had to formulate a first axiom for communication research I would say that to be acceptable: Human communication theory must also be about itself.

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