Paper $21.00 ISBN: 9780226662770 Published December 2001
E-book $7.00 to $21.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226922638 Published April 2012

Speaking into the Air

A History of the Idea of Communication

John Durham Peters

Speaking into the Air
Bookmark and Share
Read an excerpt about the dead letter office.

John Durham Peters

304 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1999
Paper $21.00 ISBN: 9780226662770 Published December 2001
E-book $7.00 to $21.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226922638 Published April 2012
Communication plays a vital and unique role in society-often blamed for problems when it breaks down and at the same time heralded as a panacea for human relations. A sweeping history of communication, Speaking Into the Air illuminates our expectations of communication as both historically specific and a fundamental knot in Western thought.

"This is a most interesting and thought-provoking book. . . . Peters maintains that communication is ultimately unthinkable apart from the task of establishing a kingdom in which people can live together peacefully. Given our condition as mortals, communication remains not primarily a problem of technology, but of power, ethics and art." —Antony Anderson, New Scientist

"Guaranteed to alter your thinking about communication. . . . Original, erudite, and beautifully written, this book is a gem." —Kirkus Reviews

"Peters writes to reclaim the notion of authenticity in a media-saturated world. It's this ultimate concern that renders his book a brave, colorful exploration of the hydra-headed problems presented by a rapid-fire popular culture." —Publishers Weekly

What we have here is a failure-to-communicate book. Funny thing is, it communicates beautifully. . . . Speaking Into the Air delivers what superb serious books always do-hours of intellectual challenge as one absorbs the gradually unfolding vision of an erudite, creative author." —Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer
Contents
Introduction: The Problem of Communication
The Historicity of Communication
The Varied Senses of "Communication"
Sorting Theoretical Debates in (and via) the 1920s
Technical and Therapeutic Discourses after World War II
1. Dialogue and Dissemination
Dialogue and Eros in the Phaedrus
Dissemination in the Synoptic Gospels
2. History of an Error: The Spiritualist Tradition
Christian Sources
From Matter to Mind: "Communication" in the Seventeenth Century
Nineteenth-Century Spiritualism
3. Toward a More Robust Vision of Spirit: Hegel, Marx, and Kierkegaard
Hegel on Recognition
Marx (versus Locke) on Money
Kierkegaard's Incognitos
4. Phantasms of the Living, Dialogues with the Dead
Recording and Transmission
Hermeneutics as Communication with the Dead
Dead Letters
5. The Quest for Authentic Connection, or Bridging the Chasm
The Interpersonal Walls of Idealism
Fraud or Contact? James on Psychical Research
Reach Out and Touch Someone: The Telephonic Uncanny
Radio: Broadcasting as Dissemination (and Dialogue)
6. Machines, Animals, and Aliens: Horizons of Incommunicability
The Turing Test and the Insuperability of Eros
Animals and Empathy with the Inhuman
Communication with Aliens
Conclusion: A Squeeze of the Hand
The Gaps of Which Communication Is Made
The Privilege of the Receiver
The Dark Side of Communication
The Irreducibility of Touch and Time
Appendix: Extracts (Supplied by a Sub-sublibrarian)
Acknowledgments
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style |

Keep Informed

JOURNALs