Matthias Vogel challenges the belief, dominant in contemporary
philosophy, that reason is determined solely by our discursive,
linguistic abilities as communicative beings. In his view, the
medium of language is not the only force of reason. Music, art, and
other nonlinguistic forms of communication and understanding are
also significant. Introducing an expansive theory of mind that
accounts for highly sophisticated, penetrative media, Vogel
advances a novel conception of rationality while freeing philosophy
from its exclusive attachment to linguistics.
Vogel's media of reason treats all kinds of understanding and
thought, propositional and nonpropositional, as important to the
processes and production of knowledge and thinking. By developing
an account of rationality grounded in a new conception of media, he
raises the profile of the prelinguistic and nonlinguistic
dimensions of rationality and advances the Enlightenment project,
buffering it against the postmodern critique that the movement
fails to appreciate aesthetic experience.
Guided by the work of Jürgen Habermas, Donald Davidson, and a
range of media theorists, including Marshall McLuhan, Vogel
rebuilds, if he does not remake, the relationship among various
forms of media -- books, movies, newspapers, the Internet, and
television -- while offering an original and exciting contribution
to media theory.
Subjects: Philosophy, Sociology
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