Communication Theory ISSN 1050-3293ORIGINAL ARTICLEEcology of Meanings: A CriticalConstructivist Communication ModelMilton N. Campos ´ ´ ´ ´Department de Communication, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, H3C 3J7 Ecology of meanings is proposed as a theoretical model to explain communication pro- cesses. It is a critical constructivist approach that integrates the model of exchange val- ues by Jean Piaget and the communication model of schematization by Jean-Blaise Grize, and explores a research path envisaged by Ju ¨rgen Habermas in the theory of communicative action. The model leads to an understanding of communication science as a transversal discipline that crosses all others; that is, both psychological and social, and that accounts for universal and necessary as well as particular and contingent knowledge. In this article, the model and potential contributions are explained.doi:10.1111/j.1468-2885.2007.00304.xThe objective of this article is to propose ecology of meanings, a model to explaincommunication processes. In biology, ecologies are understood as interactingorganic systems opened to the environment, functioning dynamically, and perma-nently in the search for equilibrium. Trials to understand the human cognitive andaffective mechanisms of transmitting and interpreting information, and buildingknowledge along the evolution of the species, have generated conﬂicting viewsamong scientists with regards to the relationship between culture and nature. Somescientists, mostly from the human sciences, assume that culture and nature followentirely independent paths, whereas others such as Freud (1930/1981) considerculture dependent on and/or subordinated to nature. The general belief that natureand culture are largely unrelated, and that culture is disconnected from humanontogenesis and phylogenesis, is subjacent to most communication theories. In thisarticle, I introduce the model of ecology of meanings as an alternative view of thecommunication process relating human nature (cognition and affectivity) andculture (ethics and politics). Craig (1999) once praised the idea that communication scholars would contrib-ute more to communication studies by moving to interdisciplinary studies such asbiology. Cappella (1991), for example, suggested that some patterns of human inter-action have a biological origin. Pragmatists such as Kelly (1955), Sperber and Wilson(1986) highlighted the importance of cognitive processes from the perspective ofCorresponding author: Milton N. Campos; e-mail: Milton.Campos@umontreal.ca386 Communication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association
M. N. Campos Ecology of Meaningsneobehaviorist cognitive science claims. Krippendorff (1984, 1994) based his theoryon neurocognitive epistemological foundations advanced by Maturana and Varelaaccording to whom human understanding and interaction can be biologicallyexplained (Maturana & Varela, 1997, 1976/2004; Varela, 1988/1996, 1999; Varela,Thompson, & Rosch, 1991/1993). Their views on cognitive development and its rela-tionship to interaction and communication studies had a nonnegligible impact onorganizational communication (Taylor, 1995) and on the sociology of organizations(Luhmann, 1992). Maturana and Varela were also inﬂuential in human–computerstudies (Winograd & Flores, 1986) and cyberspace theories (Levy, 1990, 1994). The contributions to communication studies from phenomenological cognitiveresearch shared some common ground with a tradition within the cognitive sciencesin which cognition is considered socially situated and constructed. Social-cognitivesituated approaches were translated in communication studies in the form of socialdiscourse theories (Van Dijk, 1994), social perception of communication theories(Burleson, Delia, & Applegate, 1992; Clarke & Delia, 1977; Delia & O’Keefe, 1977;O’Keefe & Delia, 1981), and human–human and human–computer interaction the-ories (Hutchins, 1995; Meyer, 2000). Different schools of thought somewhat relatedto situated cognition theories, and interested in the relationship between commu-nication and technology, were also developed (for a review, see Bakardijeva, 2005). Most of the above-mentioned approaches are known as different forms of ‘‘con-structivism.’’ In spite of the differences, they share the understanding that knowledgeis contextually situated and thus, so is communication. I adopt here a critical construc-tivist approach that builds on the original epistemological deﬁnition of constructivism,advanced by Piaget (1950, 1932/2000) before cybernetics, information processingtheory, and cognitive science. As Varela himself points out, none of those theoreticaldevelopments could occur without Piaget (Varela, 1988/1996). This opinion is alsoshared by Glasersfeld (1996, 1999). In Piaget’s view, knowledge is neither inscribed inthe mind (the subject), as existentialists and some empiricists believe, nor in the world ¨(the object), as empiricists of another kind defend in their naıve obsession for ‘‘data’’collection and ‘‘proof.’’ Knowledge occurs in media res, between the possibilities of thesubject while interacting with the object, through a complex interplay of organic andsymbolic assimilation and accommodation processes leading to body-mind adapta-tion. Adaptation occurs when the knowing mind achieves a provisional equilibratedstate (moment), which is followed by other moments, indeﬁnitely. The Latin expres-sion in media res, used extensively by genetic epistemologists, stands for the place inwhich knowledge, through communication, is constructed. Piaget’s definition of construction is that of biological structures (neural possibil-ities of the mind) upon which meanings emerging from experience are molded in thedynamics of interaction. Therefore, constructivist epistemology cannot be reducedto rationalist or empiricist accounts (such as those of cognitive science, positivist orsituated) because it is centered on the structural dynamics of the mind that enablehuman beings to logically construct reality based on their experiences. As a result,communication is understood as knowledge coconstruction processes having bothCommunication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association 387
Ecology of Meanings M. N. Camposform (logical systems that are abstract and universal) and content (meaning systemsthat are empirically rooted and contingent). By centering on the dynamics of existence,phenomenologists adopt a position that is close to Piaget’s. However, they do notdifferentiate the form from the content in mental processes and they reject the notionof representation (Varela, 1988/1996). The epistemological consequences of Piagetianconstructivism to communication studies, as a discipline, are that both popular anduniversal knowledge can be achieved in the explanation of communication processes(Campos, 2003). As for its critical dimension, a theory of conscience emerges because the com-municating subject is essentially ‘‘aware’’ and has the intention to communicate.Although Piaget has not explored the content of interactions, but rather theirdynamic form (the logic of values exchange), it is implicit in his theory that nomeaning can emerge in absence of logical friction and categorization. They dependon logical construction. For example, negating leads to reactions and requires anopposing afﬁrmation, hypothesizing leads to conclusions, and so on. Only throughconstruction, understood as the critical assessment of premises, can rationalityemerge and communication be possible. Although unconscious body functionsare eventually part of communication, the human species is known to have under-gone a far more complex way of communicating, related to the ability to reasonsymbolically (Cassirer, 1944/1994; Piaget, 1945/1976b). Piaget’s epistemological contributions received limited attention in the socialsciences in general (De Gandillac, Goldmann, & Piaget, 1965; Goldmann, 1978)and communication studies in particular. Nonetheless, I argue that his epistemolog-ical contributions provide a sound basis for understanding and explaining commu-nication in full consideration of social and psychological processes. In addition, Isuggest that Grize’s (1982, 1991, 1996, 1997) communication model of schematiza-tion and natural logic completes Piagetian theory by providing a suitable method tostudy interactions. Furthermore, by understanding communication as a connectorbetween the social systems and the lifeworld1 and as political action (Habermas,1981/1987a, 1981/1987b), I suggest that Habermas’ theory of communication actionis consistent with constructivist epistemology. The proposed model is an attempt tobring together these three perspectives. It responds to the two criteria established bySigman (1992) concerning what constitutes a communication theory: 1. It is stated and statable so as to refer to communication phenomena generally and not to any specific locale, group, or context of communication. 2. It refers to the interactional or processual production of meaning (significance, value, order). (p. 352)Piaget: Communication as values exchangeContextJean Piaget is known as ‘‘psychologist’’ and ‘‘pedagogue.’’ Nothing could be moremisleading (Ramozzi-Chiarottino, 1988, 1997, 1998). Piaget (1972/1983) himself388 Communication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association
M. N. Campos Ecology of Meaningswrote that psychology was a byproduct of his epistemological theory. His researchprogram aimed to answer the question: How is knowledge possible? (Piaget, 1950,Vol. 1, 1967/1992). The syntactic and semantic model (Ramozzi-Chiarottino, 1998)conceived to represent this possibility, the operatory logic, was developed with thehelp of Jean-Blaise Grize (Piaget, 1949/1976a). Piaget’s theory is ‘‘evolutionary Kantism’’ (Piaget, 1959; see also Freitas, 2002;Ramozzi-Chiarottino, 1984) and in line with Hegelian dialectics (Kesselring, 1997,1999). Kantian synthetic a priori judgment (Kant 1781/1994) is reinterpreted byPiaget as what is genetic (such as the notions of substance, space, time, and causality).This possibility only unfolds as a result of a construction in which the mind faces thepossibilities of the empirical world or the content of all possible experience (practicalreason). Thinking is understood as complex open symbolical systems (that Piagetnamed ‘‘semiotic function’’) adjusting themselves through a constant interplay ofassimilation and accommodation processes, leading to provisional states of adapta-tion, or body-mind equilibrium and learning.Contribution to communicationAlthough Piaget left a rich potential contribution to communication, and wasinvolved in research on language, he never studied meanings and culture per seand his model lacks an explicit pragmatic dimension. Nonetheless, his late workprovided theoretical contributions for a theory of meanings (Piaget, 1945/1976b,1976c, 1977a, 1991), which led to the development of natural logic (Grize, 1982,1991, 1996, 1997) and methods to study conversation as knowledge coconstructionprocesses (Campos, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004a, 2004b, 2005). Piaget’s contribution to communication is the model of value exchanges(Figure 1). He explains that values are affective when individual and moral whensocial. Morality, thus, is the normative (social) dimension of affectivity.Figure 1 Model of values exchange.Source: Adapted from Piaget (1965/1977b, p. 107).Communication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association 389
Ecology of Meanings M. N. Campos According to the model, which can be applied to individuals, social groups,and societies, the action of A, interested in communicating with B, has conse-quences. This action can provide satisfaction (1), or nuisance (2), or it can beneutral. B’s perception of satisfaction, nuisance, or neutrality will, correspondingly,entail debt (feeling of obligation), credit (feeling of disregard), or indifference. Asa result, B will attribute a value (affective or moral) related to the debt or credit andwill react, or, in the case of neutrality (carelessness), will not react at all (Piaget,1950, 1965/1977b). I will provide an example that will be used throughout the entire article. Take ´the declarations of the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, at the 61st General 2Assembly of the United Nations on September 21, 2006. He called U.S. PresidentBush a ‘‘devil’’ and accused the United States of ‘‘domination, exploitation, andpillage of peoples of the world’’ (CNN, 2006a). This action resulted in reaction. ´American ofﬁcials were not ‘‘satisﬁed’’ by Chavez’ declarations and showed nofeeling of moral ‘‘debt’’ or ‘‘obligation’’ toward him: They rather expressed a feelingof disregard and refused the accusations (moral ‘‘credit’’). The U.S. governmentreacted by saying that ‘‘we’re not going to address that sort of comic-strip approachto international affairs.’’ Even members of the oppositional (Democratic) party,such as Nancy Pelosi from the State of California, protested: ‘‘He is an everydaythug’’ (CNN, 2006b). The values at stake here are ‘‘dissatisfaction,’’ feeling ´offended, and reacting by offending Chavez by calling him a clown and criminal. ´Ethically speaking, Chavez and Pelosi behave exactly the same way, following the ´same logic of values exchange. However, Chavez’ speech was well received byanother kind of audience, inverting the logic of values exchange. During his speech,he mentioned the book Hegemony or Survival by the American linguist and politicalscientist Noam Chomsky. A day after the speech, the book instantly became ˜Amazon.com’s number one bestseller (Folha de Sao Paulo, 2006). In Venezuela,the press echoed a New York Times story according to which Chomsky had used thesame words to describe ‘‘Mr. President’’ and that the author would be ‘‘delighted’’ ´to know Chavez (El Nacional, 2006). A number of people showed their ‘‘debt’’toward Cha ´ vez, their satisfaction (feeling of gratitude), and reinforced the contentof his speech by buying Mr. Chomsky’s book. The values at stake here are satis-faction, identiﬁcation, agreement, and support. These events show how the modelcan be applied in different communication circumstances.3 The multiple moral possibilities resulting from the application of this modelcan be applied to situations as varied as those found in economics, in historicalrevolutions, in social interactions over the Internet, in love affairs, and so on. Theresulting type of interaction (cooperative: equilibrium or constrained: disequilib-rium) is not ﬁxed but dynamic; it changes through construction. It is rarely foundin pure form but is mostly alternating cooperative and constrained moments.However, the content of interactions is not studied in this model (the historybehind those facts, the political impact, etc.). To address this gap, Grize proposedschematization.390 Communication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association
M. N. Campos Ecology of MeaningsGrize: Communication as schematizationContextIn contrast to Piaget’s view, Jean-Blaise Grize focused on how meanings are inter-twined with mental operations. His model provided ‘‘meaning’’ to the model ofvalues exchange filling a void in Piaget’s work. The collaboration between Grizeand Piaget dates from the mid-50s. Grize critically revised Piaget’s operatory logicas a model of the mind and discussed its implications for genetic epistemology.Piaget (1949/1976a) acknowledged the theoretical difﬁculty of combining formand content in logical models. Their collaboration had a fundamental impact onGrize’s research and encouraged him to develop ‘‘natural logic,’’ well known amonglogicians and theoreticians of argumentation (Van Eemeren, Grootendorst, &Henkemans, 1996).Contribution to communicationGrize’s (1996) natural logic is associated with a model of communication. It is basedon ﬁve postulates. The ﬁrst is dialogism: Communication is a two-way road. Thesecond is the situation of interlocution, which determines the psychosocial conditionsand consequences of communication. The third is representation. Communication isa symbolic activity that implies the construction of psychological and social imagesof the world. The fourth is cultural preconstruction. Images are fed by cultural pre-constructs that are assimilated and accommodated by the interlocutors, shapingcommunication behavior. The ﬁfth is object construction. What is communicated—discourse—is sense making and results in the construction of thinking objects. Thoseobjects find commonalities in the meaning of languages and are built in the com-munication process or schematization: (genetic) process as well as the result of con-structions. It is a process because communication supposes an organization of thecontent of discursive activity. It is a result because content is related to representa-tions built upon precultural constructs of a given language.4 As such, the history ofthe words used to express a given meaning cannot be ignored. It frames the possi-bilities of meanings resulting from construction or reconstruction. For Grize (1982,1991, 1996, 1997), this historical ‘‘framing’’ provides to each schematization thedevelopmental uniqueness of evolving ecosystems (Figure 2). Schematizations are processes based on images of the world, which complete theformal values in Piaget’s model. Although in Grize’s model, ‘‘images of the world’’have the sense of the representations generated in verbal interaction, I invite thereader to go beyond this verbal conception when word is mentioned in this articleand integrate possibilities of nonverbal languages (for images also have cognitive andaffective individual and social history expressed in their syntax, semantics, andpragmatics, and mental imagery is always recalled when words are used). A giventheme T (which could comprise ideas, concepts, notions, stories, etc.) has a corre-spondent image Im(T) related to the history of the construction of the words ´attached to it. For instance, the word diablo used by Chavez in the previous exampleCommunication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association 391
Ecology of Meanings M. N. CamposFigure 2 The schematization model of communication.Source: Adapted from Grize (1997, p. 29).has a meaning going back to its inception in the history of the Spanish language, whichis not exactly the same meaning intended by the Venezuelan president. In addition, the ´spoken word of Chavez was translated into English, which has a different history of usebased on a distinct culture. Each pole of a given communication situation has sym-bolic actions in situ in which the interlocutors build images. A can build an imageIm(A) and B an image Im(B) of a historically built theme T, say the word devil.Depending on who takes the turn in the argumentation process (for Grize, commu-nication is argumentation), this image is constructed (if based on new elementsattached to the historically built T) or reconstructed (if it is a reinterpretation ofthe interpretation of the historically built T). The images built by A or B in thecommunication process depend on the intentions of the interlocutor (will, ﬁnality,goal), the moulding of representations and the contexts from which culturalconstructs (beliefs, traits, habitudes, etc.) inform the building of images. In this inter-active process, A will go on by building a new image A# of theme T as a result of theinterpretation of image B by B. In turn, B rebuilds an image B# of theme T as a result ofthe interpretation of image A# by A. And so on. Building and rebuilding–or schema-tization—are a progressive process of construction and reconstruction of meanings inwhich interlocutors help to interpret each other’s and one’s own world (Grize, 1997). Because communication is seen as argumentation, it requires four dynamiccompetencies having a sociopsychological spectrum: (a) linguistic (syntactic, seman-tic, and pragmatic abilities), (b) cultural (discourse is culturally enacted), (c) rhe-torical (expression is bound to metaphorical thinking), and (d) logical. Theimportance of the logical competence is fundamental because all previous compe-tences depend on the cognitive (logical) capacity of inferring, as Piaget has demon-strated (Piaget, 1949/1976a) well before it was demonstrated in cognitive science. Todeal with the logical competence, Grize proposed ‘‘natural logic’’ in which reasoningis an act of communication that interrelates class-objects through the natural language392 Communication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association
M. N. Campos Ecology of Meaningsthat individuals use. The object of study of natural logic is the logical-discursiveoperations that enact schematizations. It has two poles: the logic of objects, the logicof subjects, their respective operations, and a superior instance: the ﬁnal operation ofconﬁgurations. The logic of objects progressively relates to:1. The anchoring of primitive notions of the language. In the example, ‘‘The devil came here yesterday,’’ devil refers to a source of evil (as opposed to good).2. The classes to which those notions pertain (bundle). In the example, ‘‘He came here as if he were the owner of the world,’’ it is implied that the world has parts (the countries), internal processes (can be owned), state (is owned), and so on.3. The domain to which they are associated (use, economic, etc.). In the example, ‘‘He is an everyday thug,’’ the domain is criminality.4. The return to previous objects and classes. In the example, ‘‘And it smells of sulphur still today,’’ a discourse procedure allows the return to the devil.5. The extraction of a new class objects that is not anchored in primitive notions. In the example, ‘‘We appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our head,’’ the word sword comes from threat.6. The determination of the content of judgment in the sense of Frege (a thought having value of truth) results in a poly-operation expressing the multiple possibilities of its interpretation. In the example, ‘‘He is an everyday thug,’’ the afﬁrmation implies an acceptation of the content of this judgment or a refusal (He is not).7. The localizing of the content of judgment. In the example, ‘‘He is an everyday thug,’’ the word everyday determines the temporal conditions of being a thug in this context. Contents of judgment lead the analysis to the logic of subjects. The above deter-minations of natural logic are progressively appropriated by the subject through apoly-operation of taking charge of the content of judgment. In this operation:1. What is said should be imputed to somebody. In the above-mentioned excerpts, ´ it is imputed to Mr. Chavez the claim about Mr. Bush being a ‘‘devil,’’ and to ´ Mrs. Pelosi the claim about Mr. Chavez being a ‘‘thug.’’2. What is imputed might have different understandings. Diablo in Spanish and devil in the translated excerpts of the Cable News Network (CNN) lead to distinct although similar meanings.3. Taking charge can only happen in precise space–temporal contexts. ‘‘And it smells of sulphur still today’’ implies the context in which the phrase was pro- nounced (the United Nations General Assembly) and that that ‘‘smell’’ could last longer (provided that it lasted from the previous day).4. Modalities di dicto can alter the content of a judgment. The utterance ‘‘I have a meeting with the axis of evil somewhere around here, so I have to go’’ wouldCommunication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association 393
Ecology of Meanings M. N. Campos have another meaning if uttered this way:’’ I have to go. I have a meeting with the axis of evil somewhere around here, so ..’’ When the final operation of conﬁgurations is applied, a critical assessmentemerges. It allows sense making of the whole communication process. Here, Piagetand Grize lead to Habermas because it is then possible to assess the cooperative orconstrained character of the context.Bridging Piaget, Grize, and HabermasThe proposed model is at the crossroads of genetic epistemology and the theoryof communicative action. It is consistent with the research direction suggested byHabermas to further highlight the concept of communication rationality that he didnot undertake. This research direction is estimating the value of the empirical use offormal pragmatic postulations (Habermas, 1981/1987a). In his theory of society,Habermas took Piagetian theory (Habermas, 1981/1987a, 1981/1987b) into accountby incorporating the role of learning in psychological and social development(Freitag, 1992; Freitag et al., 1999). A keen look at Habermas’ theory reveals thatthe critique of functionalist reason that leads to the conception of communicativereason is built into the Piagetian model of values exchange (Habermas calls it ‘‘modelof social cooperation,’’ Habermas, 1981/1987a, p. 30) (1). In addition, the broadunderstanding applied to ‘‘media’’ by Habermas, including money and power as‘‘languages,’’ enhances the model of values exchange in terms of the social, econom-ical, political, and cultural dimensions of individual lives and collective institutions(2). Furthermore, Habermas focuses on argumentation processes as a means throughwhich intersubjective understanding—a critical process—might be achieved. Herecognizes that his proposal of merging formal and empirical pragmatics is justa draft (Habermas, 1981/1987a, p. 335). I suggest that Grize’s multidimensional viewof communication competence as schematization, bound to Piaget’s model of valuesexchange, is appropriate for estimating the value of the empirical use of formalpragmatic postulations. It provides the means to assess the universality of commu-nication operations and goes beyond the limits of cognitive ‘‘performance’’ of speechacts theory. The contributions of speech acts theory were highlighted by Habermas.However, he pointed out the limitations of empirical pragmatics to study the ratio-nality of daily life and suggested that formal pragmatics should learn from it to beable to account for communicative reason (Habermas, 1981/1987a, pp. 335–336) (3). Concerning (1) and (2), Habermas developed a critique of the irreducibility ofmost approaches with regards to the necessary relationships between the socialsystem and the phenomenological experience of the lifeworld. Here, he targetsthe most fundamental problem of sociology (and conversely of psychology), whichis the consideration of both the individual and the society by engaging with socialtransformation, as a true organic intellectual in the sense of Gramsci (Fiori, 1966/1970). Habermas addresses the weak connection between the social systems and the394 Communication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association
M. N. Campos Ecology of Meaningsphenomenological experience of the lifeworld in the history of sociological theo-rizing, including systems theory, by suggesting that most theories lack the com-munication dimension to connect the cultural meanings of language (body andverbal) with the sociopolitical ‘‘languages’’ of money and (political) administration(Habermas, 1981/1987b). Although on the one hand, communication expresses thehuman phenomenological experience of the subjective world, it is also dialecticallydependent on the historical evolution of social constraints derived from the concreteeconomic conditions of life and from the way public and private administrationpolitically moulds the insertion of individuals and groups in society. Politics andeconomics are also means of communication, constitutive of people’s lives, and ofthe images of the world that they build. This vision finds its way in the Piagetian model of values exchange. By expressingprevalence of the positive pole in favor of A (and thus to the detriment of B), themodel represents moral relationships of constraint or imposition (Piaget, 1950, 1965/1977b). Such relationships are established between unequal individuals leading tocircumstances in which the utility, the usability, and the manipulation of oneanother are at the relationships’ core. This pole is related to Habermas’ conceptionof instrumental (or teleological) reason. It concerns rationality that emerges fromconstrained contexts in which discourse (verbal and body language, money, andpower) is applied by using any means (or media) with the goal of taking advantageand denying negotiation. On the contrary, communicative rationality, as the expres-sion of the democratic ideal of argumentation, is present when the model of valuesexchange is in a state of moral equilibrium or of cooperation. Such relationships arethose established between equals or people believing to be equals (Piaget, 1950, 1965/1977b), leading to circumstances in which the utility, the usability, and the manip-ulation of one another are denied as strategies and are replaced by argumentation.The goal is to achieve intersubjective understanding through structured rules toenable speaking, listening, negotiating, and problem solving. Concerning (3), Habermas has a much stricter view of argumentation than doesGrize. Habermas views arguments in a classic way, as disputes of validity claims.Those disputes develop over time, involve the learning processes of communicationpartners, and lead—or not—to cooperation. Argumentation is circumscribed to thecooperative conditions of communicative action and, if developed under con-strained circumstances (such as ‘‘arguments’’ of psychosocial violence or those pre-sented under the form of law and regulations, such as a result of normativeenforcement), it is not a source of communication reason but of instrumentalreason. Although Grize also considers violence an illegitimate form of ‘‘argumenta-tion,’’ his notion of argument does not deal only with rational claims to validatetruths through intersubjective understanding. Schematizations include cognitiveabilities to represent, build, and apply schemes and also its poetical dimension:How feelings and emotions are expressed in conversation through the ﬁgures oflanguage. Thus, negotiation goes beyond strict rationality and should be understoodin a more holistic way.Communication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association 395
Ecology of Meanings M. N. Campos Habermas indeed provides a theory of society but only a potentially designed, notfully developed theory of argumentation. Grize did develop such theory, in media res,integrating formal and empirical pragmatic perspectives, following Piaget. However,Habermas’ social–political view of communicative action, which goes beyond verballanguage and is scripted in the workings of money and power (administration), isabsent in both Piaget and Grize. These views, when combined, allow the formulationof the communication model of ecology of meanings.Ecology of meanings: A critical constructivist approach to communicationAccording to Habermas, there are three main ways to highlight the universality ofthe concept of communicational rationality: (a) introduce the formal pragmaticsconcept of communicative activity to rationally reconstruct universal rules andthe necessary presuppositions of actions leading to intersubjective understanding,(b) estimate the value of the empirical use of formal pragmatic postulations thatcould be achieved by research aiming to explain (b#) pathological models of com-munication, (b$) the evolution of the basis of sociocultural life forms, and (b$#) theontogenesis of action abilities, and (c) build a theory of social rationalization (Hab-ermas, 1981/1987a, p. 155). He decided to follow the third route (c) by formulatinghis theory of society. The second way, (b), is related to what the application of the model of ecologyof meanings can achieve. Concerning (b#), because values can be individual, social, orhybrid, their study within argumentation processes, as understood in the sense ofGrize (‘‘conversations’’), can unveil if a communication exchange is pathological (con-strained) or not (cooperative). Concerning (b$), because the meaning context ofvalues exchange deﬁnes the way sociocultural life forms and their corresponding psy-chological forms evolve, the resulting circular reﬂexivity of knowledge coconstructioncan unveil how judgments—whether cognitively or affectively grounded—are formed(which is somewhat related to Krippendorff’s (1994) model of recursive communi-cation). Concerning (b$#), the will of the subject is exerted to the inside by adjustingthe phenomenological living experience according to cultural constraints and thepersonal history as well as to the outside through actions in the world. Communication is seen here as a biological mechanism that enables the subject tomake sense of himself or herself and of the outside world. Any movement to the insideis always correlated to a movement to the outside. Humans evolved and developed theability to structure inner phenomenological experiences through language, whichblends logical reasoning and emotions. Biology teaches us that all animals use com-munication to fulﬁll basic needs: eating, mating, protecting from danger, and inter-acting socially (social signs of domination–subordination, affectivity, etc.). Inaddition, a number of conditions are necessary to enable communication: the influ-ence of context in the structure and function of the signal, the physical condition of themembers of the communication community, the cost for producing a signal, and thebeneﬁts of the interaction (Hauser, 1996). The human ability to construct verbal,396 Communication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association
M. N. Campos Ecology of Meaningsnumerical, visual, and other language codes as well as the ability to build technicaltools for communication to integrate them is a result of epigenetical evolution. Human communication emerges, at a primary level, from instincts. Freud (1930/1981) showed how human instincts become libido when applied to external objectsof desire. At a secondary level, the evolution of culture produced symbolic beings(Cassirer, 1944/1994) that reason through a multiplicity of language possibilities.Both primary and secondary levels are built into the root of the brain that controlsinvoluntary mechanisms and emotions, and in its periphery, the cortex, responsiblefor most rational (cognitive) abilities (Damasio, 1994/2000). Both levels are a sourceof consciousness, of will. The hypothesis of the synergy of both reason and passion(or ‘‘energy’’) in brain functioning (Piaget, 1954, 1959) suggests that it is a holisticorgan in which root and peripheral functions work in consonance and in which liesthe source of all possible consciousness. However, if logical reasoning precedes lan-guage, as children’s logic of actions prior to language acquisition demonstrates(Piaget, 1945/1977c), then it is reasonable to assert that any communication modelshould build on cognitive development (logics) to enable identifying the universalssubjacent to the content of knowledge. Applying the model of ecology of meanings, pathological models of communi-cation could be better understood. The logical structure subjacent to the content of ´Mr. Bush and Mr. Chavez’ dispute is an example of communication pathology.Assessing the historical means through which communication pathologies emergeenables an understanding of the evolution of sociocultural life forms such as beliefsthat the United States of America is a ‘‘democracy’’ led by ‘‘high ideals of freedom,’’and that Venezuela is an ‘‘unstable’’ and ‘‘nondemocratic’’ Latin American countrythat is the ‘‘hostage’’ of a ‘‘thug,’’ and whose people are ‘‘less’’ cognitively andaffectively able than the people who elected George W. Bush. By refusing to dichot-omize interpersonal from social communication to protect the false boundaries ofpsychological and sociological realities, communication studies could beneﬁt fromdevelopmental studies to understand the ontogenesis of action abilities. What doNorth American kids communicate by killing peers in Columbine-like schools? Whatdo young Venezuelan men aged 15–24 communicate when getting involved in theurban warfare, adding their bodies to the 10,000 homicides per year? Neither socio-logical nor psychological communication approaches alone can explain that. Byunderstanding how those reasons and emotions evolve during the lifetimes of indi-viduals immersed in groups and societies through historically constructed (schema-tized) meanings and by envisaging which action might change values, geneticepistemology cooperates with Habermas’ critical epistemological project.The structure of ecologies of meaningsI propose that communication be understood as an interactive and genetic-historicdevelopmental process in which:1. The cognitive and affective structures of the brain that emerge from the subjects’ consciousness through body actions and mental operations are taken intoCommunication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association 397
Ecology of Meanings M. N. Campos consideration in the understanding of psychological states that enable commu- nication through interaction with the social environment (see light gray inner layer in Figures 3–6).2. Both consciousness and will result in potential moral behavior as a movement to the inside (ethics) as well as to the outside (morality and politics). Will is mediated by language and might be framed by a mediating communication object (see gray central layer in Figures 3–6).3. The external environmental conditions (natural and social) of existence (see dark gray outer layer in Figures 3–6) frame, in a movement to the inside, the body’s accessibility to material and spiritual resources needed for development (food, shelter, and care as well as ideas). In addition, in a movement to the outside, they trigger potential actions that might lead to transformation and change.The dynamics (functioning) of ecologies of meaningsIt is through these three interconnected structural and functional levels that commu-nication partners will be able to construct and coconstruct images of the world that areprovisional symbolic accounts or glimpses of represented reality. These interpretationsare (or are not) incorporated (assimilated and accommodated) into the person’sconﬁguration of meanings (Figure 3). Such images of the world result from the inte-grative ability that humans have to process numerous language possibilities at once ininner and outer parallel movements. This processing ability enables knowledge crea-tion as a result of the interaction between interlocutors’ A and B (case of dyads), A, B,C, D, and so on (case of multiple interlocutors such as discussion forums on theInternet), or n images of the world (case of larger communities and societies). Images of the world can be shared either accidentally (e.g., neighbors can buildimages of their neighborhood without necessarily ‘‘communicating’’ with oneFigure 3 Interaction in ecology of meanings.398 Communication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association
M. N. Campos Ecology of MeaningsFigure 4 Construction and coconstruction of images of the world in ecology of meanings.another) or intentionally. In addition, this sharing can be done through naturalconversation or through the constraining ‘‘lenses’’ of technological mediating objects(television sets, movie theatres, computers, etc.) that convey ‘‘framed’’ conﬁgura-tions of meanings built by producers (series, ﬁlms, etc.) and/or developers (Websites, gaming software, etc.).5 The dynamic interplay of conﬁgurations of meaningsis what forms a social environment. Although in Figure 3 (above), ‘‘a’’ conﬁgurationof meanings is attributed to each interlocutor, a person’s, group’s, or society’sFigure 5 Ecology of meanings: construction.Communication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association 399
Ecology of Meanings M. N. CamposFigure 6 Ecology of meanings: reconstruction.conﬁguration of meanings is made of inﬁnite conﬁgurations resulting from mul-tiple cognitive and affective schemas associated to logical and meaning systems, andto moral actions. The overlapping networks of multiple communities to which com-mon citizens belong (Craven & Wellman, 1973) provide an illustrative analogy withsuch structure. Interactions happen in turns (see Figure 4) and can be mediated by objects.When A moves forward his or her images of the world advance on B’s conﬁgurationof meanings. When it is B’s turn, his/her images of the world advance on A’s conﬁg-uration of meanings.6 This process reﬂects the cognitive (space, time, causality, andmeaning implication) and affective (attachment, libido, dominance, or subordina-tion—or power relationships) dimensions of existence. As a result, a potential zonein which images of the world of a given theme T are shared is provisionally cocon-structed in media res. This exchange leads to construction and coconstruction andto learning. Shared images of the world can potentially enable the creation ofnew knowledge of new themes resulting from cognitive and affective negotiation.Vygotsky’s (1924–1934/1979) zone of proximal development could be understoodas somewhat analogous with this idea.Ecology of meanings: What for?Ecology of meanings is a syntactic–semantic–pragmatic model expressing configu-rations of meanings built over a lifetime that enable the construction and cocon-struction of images of the world (themes T). They are ever-moving open systemswith logical structures (the universals of communication) and meanings made pos-sible by linguistic, cultural, and rhetorical competences (the situated contents ofcommunication). The model can be understood as an interactive sort of pragmatics400 Communication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association
M. N. Campos Ecology of Meaningsthat is both formal and empirical. In addition, it is an affective–normative model inthe sense that individual or social action implies values (psychological–social)embedded in communicative reason. The graphics presented here are limited in thatthey do not convey the dynamics of genesis and history. I invite the reader toexamine the models of Piaget, Grize, and Habermas as different layers of ecologiesof meanings:1. The model of values exchange (Piaget, 1950, 1965/1977b) in that it unveils the universals of interaction founded on affective and moral values.2. The schematization (Grize, 1982, 1996, 1997) in that it shows how values are constructed and coconstructed in the argumentation process.3. The theory of communicative action (Habermas, 1981/1987a, 1981/1987b) in that it deﬁnes the political inscription of morality and ethics in communicative action. The inner movement of the aware person representing himself or herself, group,or society (see light gray inner layer in previous Figures 3 and 4, and also in Figures 5and 6) is the result of permanent lifelong processes of constructing and coconstruct-ing cognitive and affective structures. These structures are subjacent to individualand social representations emerging from sociocultural preconstructs (from theviewpoints of psychosocial development and phylogenesis) that shape the moralvalues of people, groups, and societies. The outer movement of the aware person representing himself or herself, group,or society (see dark gray outer layer in previous Figures 3 and 4, and also in Figures 5and 6) is the result of permanent lifelong processes of living under contexts ofauthority (or lack of) resulting from historical sociopolitical–economic constraints.Authority is, essentially, a manifestation of social behavior. It starts to be exerted inchildhood by parents, followed by school officials, and becomes more and morecomplex as subjects enter the organized world of human society, that of the concretematerial conditions of existence, pointed out by Marx (1859/1957) in the Contribu-tion to a Critique of Political Economy. This outer movement forces persons repre-senting themselves, groups, or societies to assess the validity of their moral actions `vis-a-vis environmental reality. Consciousness is the core of these inner and outer movements (see gray centrallayer in previous Figures 3 and 4, and also in Figures 5 and 6), and is either the sourceof inferencing or the source of culture, in the sense given by Freud (1930/1981) thatinforms will and moral action. In terms of the dynamics of the process, on the one hand, the values of the actionof A have consequences for B, providing or not satisfaction (see Figure 5 above).These values deﬁne the moral framework of the relationship and can lead to:1. Teleological circumstances: explicit or implicit imposition through authority. Here, there is heteronymous constraint orCommunication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association 401
Ecology of Meanings M. N. Campos2. Communication circumstances: intersubjective understanding achieved through negotiation. Here, there is autonomy of will, cooperation. The resulting construction of shared configurations of meanings in the knowledge-creation zone through Im(A) (the interpretative construction of Im(t) by A) will beteleological or communicational depending on the values at stake. On the other hand, B’s reaction will reflect a moral obligation (debt) or lackthereof (credit) related to being satisfied or not (‘‘sB’’). The resulting values willscaffold a new path of communicative understanding or reconstruction (see Figure 6below). The resulting coconstruction of shared meanings in the knowledge-creationzone through Im(B) (the interpretation of Im(t) by B) will enable A to recognize thevalue attributed by B and to respond to it by instrumentally imposing and manip-ulating (constraining) or cooperating and democratically coconstructing values. The interplay of the configurations of meanings and associated images of theworld in a given personal, group, or societal interaction enables the possibility ofconstructing and coconstructing in a knowledge-creation zone. Figures 5 and 6above attempt to represent the poles of ecology of meanings. However, these polesare just glimpses of an ever-changing dynamic process. ´ Take again the example of President Chavez’s speech at the United Nations.There is no cooperation. Because the communication partners ‘‘argue’’ indirectly,through the lenses of a mediating object, there is no way to assess sincerity and,therefore, no way to validate claims with regards to a possible goal of achievingintersubjective understanding. President Bush, the ‘‘devil’’ who was accused of pro-voking the whole episode because of his speech, is absent (the article is not abouthim). The content of the speech was not published in the news and, probably, notwritten by him. Yet, the image of Mr. Bush and of the country that he represents iscoconstructed by all fellow Americans who act on his behalf (politicians, business-men, voters, etc.) and by fellow foreigners who support his actions (namely comingfrom countries that either have common economic and political interests or who arehostages due to economic or political blackmail). There are also institutions aroundthe stage that have norms, interests, and policies. This stereotype of the people andinstitutions of the ‘‘empire’’ might not be exact; every person ought to be grantedthe beneﬁt of the doubt that he or she has moral values, and institutions, that theyare ethical. ´ On the other hand, Chavez’s ‘‘response’’ (which was probably written beforeMr. Bush’s speech) attaches all evil to the person of the American president in an ´ad hominen argumentation attack. This is not surprising because Chavez was alreadyaccused as being part of the ‘‘axis of evil’’ by Bush. The exchange of values has farmore complex conﬁgurations of meanings than those apparent in the media textsand broadcastings about the event. The recent history of Latin American exploita-tion and past American intervention supporting military dictatorships that em-powered exploiters is one of those conﬁgurations. The need to intervene to avoidthat Latin America be submersed by ideologies that are antithetical to ‘‘freedom,’’402 Communication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association
M. N. Campos Ecology of Meaningssuch as ‘‘communism’’ in the past and ‘‘terrorism’’ in the present, is another con-ﬁguration. Moreover, the conﬁgurations of meanings that emerge in people’s mindsand hearts are ﬁltered by the media employees working under the constraints ofeconomic and institutional (administrative, political) interests with serious moralconsequences regarding ‘‘truth.’’ It does not matter whether the claims are valid or not (they could be) becausecommunication is anchored in both psychological (cognitive, affective) and socio-cultural constructs (the history of the language and, going beyond Grize, the historyof all kinds of languages: computer codes, film editing, etc.). In addition, commu-nication contexts cannot be separated from the economic conditions and the polit-ical constraints of administration (institutions that surround us: banks, revenueagencies, telephone, insurance, and electricity companies, etc.). What is a validpremise for one interlocutor might not be valid for another. Logic teaches us thatno argument can have a valid conclusion if interlocutors are not in agreementconcerning the validity of the premises. However, it is certain that, for many people,Bush’s discourse at the United Nations—and the American imperial ideology that itevokes—is not a universal truth, although the U.S. army and secret services act as if itwere. The same can be said for those book buyers who filled the pockets of Chomsky ´as a result of his dissent and the fact that he was cited by Chavez. Anti-Americanideology is not a universal truth either, in spite of the fact that Internet presscompanies such as AlJazeera provide, for multitudes far larger than Americans ´and their supporters, voice to ‘‘thugs’’ as Chavez (Aljazeera.net, 2006). ‘‘Reality,’’as delusive as it can be, is a process of change and transformation. Ideas, ideologies,thoughts, policies, and so on are never ﬁxed. People and institutions reason whilecommunicating, change and mold new conﬁgurations of meanings according totheir passions. History has recorded the shameless change of reasons that Mr. Bushinvoked to attack Iraq (alleged existence of arms of mass destruction, later demon-strated to be a lie), then later to stay in the country (to stabilize Iraq), and ﬁnally, tojustify the need to continue the war (to stabilize the Middle East because of Syrianand Iranian alleged threats). The result is that in the 2006 elections, Democratsoverturned the Republican control of the U.S. Congress. Morally speaking, the communication pathologies presented above, in theirintrinsic heteronymous tension, denote lack of respect for one another. The studyof such pathologies also requires an understanding of history (the evolution of thebasis of sociocultural life forms) and its actors (the ontogenesis of action abilities).The natural logic analysis presented above enables Americans and Venezuelans tocritically address the knowledge reciprocally created. Habermas’ contribution withregards to intersubjective understanding as an ideal invokes a theory of conscious-ness that enables communication processes to go beyond explanation through inter-vention with a view to intersubjective understanding, which is consensus on apsychological level, and legitimate governments and peace on a social level. Only suchan endeavor would avoid the hypothesis that, for example, the peoples of the UnitedStates and of Venezuela be engulfed by hate because of their failure to cooperate.Communication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association 403
Ecology of Meanings M. N. CamposConclusionsMethodologically, genetic epistemology offers the means of applying the models ofPiaget and Grize to understand and to explain the historic-genetic processes andresults of communication interactions. Critical epistemology, by extracting the rea-sons put forward in argumentation, allows the assessment of the validity of claimsand an understanding of how society, by way of its languages, shape the possibility ofcooperation. Critical constructivism, epistemologically, sustains that communica-tion, as a ‘‘discipline’’ needs methods to extract universals from practices to under-stand, explain, and transform. The model of ecology of meanings aims to respond to these needs. Communi-cation is at the core of both popular and scientiﬁc knowledge. In terms of popularknowledge, the model addresses the coconstruction of perceptions and the meansto address them to achieve common sense. For scientiﬁc knowledge, as Grize (1997)puts, even mathematics needs to be communicated. It is true that mathematicalproblems can be solved by a single individual. However, mathematical advancesfollow the social history of the discipline. In the realm of the human and socialsciences, the processes of negotiation are certainly different, but problems need tobe addressed, communicated, and solved nonetheless through cooperation andintersubjective understanding. Communication science is neither human nor social. It is also not biological,natural, technical, applied, or pure science. It is a transversal discipline, crossing themall. It addresses creative processes along the whole extent of the knowledge scale—from logic (pure form) to history (pure content). It is both psychological and social.It accounts for universal and necessary as well as particular and contingent knowl-edge. If reconceptualized around the assessment of the validity of formal and infor-mal claims in popular and scientific knowledge through argumentation (in the senseof Grize), communication science could become an important and useful tool. Sucha tool would facilitate the understanding of the role of communication in solvingserious human problems and ways to addressed them. The model of ecology ofmeanings is a modest step in this direction.AcknowledgmentsThis study was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Councilof Canada and by the FQRSC (Quebec’s Research Council on Society and Culture).I would like to thank the reviewers who provided helpful feedback on previous ˆversions of this article, Professor Jean-Blaise Grize (University of Neuchatel) for com-ments on this article as well as for his generous and permanent support, Professor ˜Ramozzi-Chiarottino (University of Sao Paulo) for the epistemological guidance andtraining provided since I was a Ph.D. student, Professor Lia Beatriz de Lucca Freitas(Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul) for her most helpful comments concerning ´ ´Piagetian ethics. I also thank Boris Brummans (Universite de Montreal), Kim Sawchuk404 Communication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association
M. N. Campos Ecology of Meanings(Concordia University) and Sylvia Currie (Simon Fraser University) for their contri-butions. Last but not the least, for the daily contributions of all my graduate studentsbut most specifically, Maura Boaca Tomi, Mathieu Chaput, Yollande Cloutier, CristinaGrabovschi Serban, and Jonathan Petit. The knowledge-creation zone intersecting theconﬁgurations of meanings of all these people enabled me to reﬂect about issuesdiscussed in this article and to advance my own ideas.Notes1 The German word Lebenswelt was translated into English as lifeworld. Although the ´ translation is literally exact, I understand that the French translation, monde vecu is more in line with Habermas’ intended meaning. Habermas’ Lebenswelt is related to the phe- nomenological experience of the subject, as he would never commit to an idea of the world existing by itself, which comes from the Anglo-Saxon empiricist philosophical tradition and is inextricable from English language. Although throughout the text I use the ofﬁcial translation of the word (lifeworld), in the graphics of the ecology of meanings model I used the term that expresses exactly I want to communicate, which is lived world.2 At this point in time, the United States and Venezuela are at odds because of their respective political processes and ideologically opposed leadership: The American president George W. Bush representing extreme right views, whereas Hugo Chavez ´ expresses radical left beliefs.3 Applying the Piagetian model to extract the logical structure of communication exchanges does not provide a critical account of the content. Nor does natural logic. The reader will later realize that the ecology of meanings model has three steps, and that the step concerning the critical assessment of argumentation will only happen in the context of action upon the world.4 My use of the English word language is intended in the sense of the French word langue. When the English word language is used to mean symbolic code, the French word is langage.5 I did not extensively develop the place of the mediating object in the proposed com- munication model because this discussion is complex and beyond the scope of this article. However, I consider Feenberg’s criticism with regards to the ‘‘silence of Hab- ermas’’ concerning technology worth considering. Feenberg’s critique compares Hab- ermas’ and Marcuse’s visions of technology to address the problem of technology (Bakardijeva, 2005; Feenberg, 1995, 2003, 2004).6 The ellipses in Figures 3–5 aim to represent configurations of meanings. It would be better to graphically represent those configurations as having moving 3-D irregular forms and sizes to express more appropriately the differences among constructed meaning ‘‘universes,’’ but I decided to use ellipses for sake of clarity. The interplay of configurations of meanings is shown as configurations ‘‘invading’’ one another. The ‘‘invading’’ configuration does not erase the correlated meanings of the ‘‘invaded’’ configuration until a resulting coconstruction gives rise to accommodated meanings for both configurations. Each configuration gives rise to accommodated meanings that, if corresponding to one another, are never the same because the phenomenological experience of each life is unique. This conception leads to the fact that communication isCommunication Theory 17 (2007) 386–410 ª 2007 International Communication Association 405
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Une écologie des significations : Un modèle communicationnel constructiviste critique Milton N. Campos Université de MontréalUne écologie des significations est proposée comme modèle théorique pour expliquer lesprocessus de communication. Il s’agit d’une approche constructiviste critique qui intègre lemodèle d’échanges des valeurs de Jean Piaget et le modèle communicationnel de laschématisation de Jean-Blaise Grize et qui explore une trajectoire de recherche prévue par JürgenHabermas dans la théorie de l’action communicative. Le modèle amène à comprendre lessciences de la communication comme une discipline transversale qui traverse toutes les autres,qui est à la fois psychologique et sociale et qui rend compte des connaissances universelles etutiles comme des connaissances particulières et conditionnelles. Dans cet article, le modèle et sescontributions potentielles sont expliqués.
Eine Ökologie der Bedeutungen: Ein kritisch-konstruktivistisches Kommunikationsmodell Milton N. Campos Université de MontréalAls theoretisches Modell zur Erklärung von Kommunikationsprozessen wird eine Ökologie derBedeutungen vorgeschlagen. Es handelt sich um einen kritisch-konstruktivistischen Ansatz,welcher das Modell von Tauschwerten nach Jean Piaget und das Kommunikationsmodell derSchematisierung von Jean-Blaise Grize integriert sowie einen Erkenntnisweg nach JürgenHabermas’ Theorie des Kommunikativen Handelns untersucht. Das Modell beschreibt dieKommunikationswissenschaft als eine transversale Disziplin, die alle anderen durchkreuzt, diesowohl psychologisch als auch sozial ist, und die universelles und notwendiges wie auchspezielles und bedingtes Wissen berücksichtigt. In diesem Artikel werden das Modell und seinpotentieller Mehrwert erläutert.
La Ecología de los Sentidos: Un Modelo Crítico Constructivista de la Comunicación Milton N. Campos Université de MontréalLa ecología de los sentidos es propuesta como un modelo teórico para explicar losprocesos comunicacionales. Es un enfoque crítico constructivista que integra el modelode intercambio de valores de Jean Piaget y el modelo de comunicación deesquematización de Jean-Blaise Grize, y explora un camino de investigación imaginadopor Jürgen Habermas en la teoría de la acción comunicativa. Este modelo conduce a unentendimiento de la ciencia de la comunicación como una disciplina transversal que cruzaa todas las otras, esto es psicológica y socialmente, y explica el conocimiento universal ynecesario así como también el particular y contingente. En este artículo, el modelo y lascontribuciones potenciales son explicados.
意义的生态学：批判性结构主义者的传播模式 Milton N. Campos Université de Montréal我们用意义生态学作为一种理论模式来解释传播过程。它是一种批判性的结构主义者的方法，融合了 Jean Piaget 的交换价值模式和 Jean-Blaise Grize 的设计化之传播模式，同时挖掘了 Jürgen Habermas 之传播行动理论所预示的研究思路。这个模式引导我们将传播学当作一门横截性的学科，它横跨所有其他心理性的、社会性的学科，并解释了普遍的、必须的、特定的以及偶然的知识。本文对这个模式及其潜在的贡献进行了解释。
의미의 생태학: 비판적 구성주의 커뮤니케이션 모델 Milton N. Campos Université de Montréal 요약의미의 생태학은 커뮤니케이션 과정들을 설명하는 이론적 모델로서 제안되었다. 이는비판적 구성주의자 접근으로 장 피아제(Jean Piaget)에 의해 제안된 교환가치 모델과 장블레이즈 그리즈(Jean-Blaise Grize)에 의한 도식화의 커뮤니케이션 모델을 통합한 것이며,커뮤니케이션 행위 이론에서 위르겐 하버마스 (Jürgen Habermas)에 의해 제안된 연구경로를 연구하는 것이다. 이 모델은 커뮤니케이션 과학의 이해를 모든 분야를 넘다드는횡단적 분야로서 유도하고 있는데, 이는 심리적 그리고 사회적이며, 특정하고 상황적지식뿐만 아니라, 보편적이고 필요한 상황을 설명한다. 본 연구에서 이모델과 잠재적공헌에 대하여 설명하였다.