In the past, communication has signified a desire to impart, share, or make common (Peters, p.7). Communication evolved from the Latin word “communicare,” while the Latin “communicatio” either involved tangible concepts or was used as the technical term for a type of styalistic device wherein the orator would verbalize both their side of an argument or discourse as well as the other, opposite perspective (Peters, p. 7). It is associated with the transfer of information, or the transmission of information, through the individual’s preferred medium by which they convey that information to another, regardless of whether or not the other is able to respond in kind.
The major theoretical debates about communication from the last hundred years include, but are not limited to, works by Aristotle and Plato, Karl Jaspers’ Psychologie der Weltanschaaungen, Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-philosophicus, Martin Buber’s I and Thou, C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards’ The Meaning of Meaning, Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents, all the way through to works by Hemmingway, Kafka, and Woolf (Peters, p.10). All of these individuals and their works have all worked to discuss communication, or the lack thereof, in some form or fashion, with all working to further the study and understanding of this complex process.
Peters refers to the technical and therapeutic senses of communication. The technical sense of communication occurs through the simple process of conveying information from one mind to another, through any medium necessary (Peters, p. 22). The therapeutic sense of communication, on the other hand, requires the individual to step away from their own perspectives and emotions and work to restate the views of the other person, providing a deeper understanding of their thoughts and views on the matter (Peters, p. 26).
- Peters, J. (2001). Speaking into the air. (pp. 1-33). Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.