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February 12 , 2009

Media of Reason

A Theory of Rationality


Matthias Vogel challenges the belief, promoted by many contemporary philosophers, 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 factors. Introducing an expansive theory of the mind that accounts for highly sophisticated, penetrative media, Vogel advances a novel conception of rationality while freeing philosophy from its attachment to linguistics.
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Vogel’s media of rationality treats all kinds of understanding and thought, propositional and non-propositional, as important contributions 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 not remakes the relationship among various forms of media-books, movies, newspapers, the Internet, and television-while offering an original and exciting contribution to media theory.
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