Chapter published in:From Pragmatics to Dialogue
Edited by Edda Weigand and Istvan Kecskes
[Dialogue Studies 31] 2018
► pp. 171–188
Dialogic pragmatics and complex objects
Engaging the life and work of Gregory Bateson
This essay frames the insights of pragmatics within the stream of everyday life as a normatively dialogical communicative activity. Pragmatics understood as existentially dialogical moves from abstraction to concrete engagement of events and persons. Dialogic pragmatics eschews the assumption that one can single-handedly construct the world, embodying a humble and simultaneously creative social task of infinite semiosis. In order to illustrate this perspective, I turn to a brief outline of pragmatics and then illuminate this perspective with emphasis on the holistic and relational insights of Gregory Bateson’s work and life. I end with discussion of Bateson’s life as a complex object that reveals dialogic pragmatics in unceasing framing of action and reaction, an act of infinite semiosis.
Keywords: Gregory Bateson, dialogue, complex objects, communicology, pragmatism
Published online: 05 October 2018
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