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A Survey of Scientific Communication Theory

Charles Pavitt

This detailed survey of present-day scientific communication theory rejects the outmoded «levels» organizational scheme in favor of a system based on the underlying model and fundamental explanatory principle each theory presupposes. In doing so it shows the fundamental similarities among all communication-relevant contexts. Most theories included in the book are causal in nature, derived from one of three underlying models: message production, message reception, or interactive. A few theories take on a functional form, sometimes in dialectic or systemic versions. An introductory chapter describes what is meant by scientific explanation, how that concept is instantiated in scientific communication theory, and delineates the three causal models prevalent in these theories. A useful resource for scholars, this book is suitable for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in communication theory.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Pavitt, Charles. Title: A survey of scientific communication theory / Charles Pavitt. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2016. Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2016014705 | ISBN 978-1-4331-3377-0 (hardcover: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-3376-3 (paperback: alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4539-1842-5 (e-book) Subjects: LCSH: Communication—Philosophy. Classification: LCC P90 .P354 2016 | DDC 302.2—dc23 LC record available at Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

© 2016 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited.

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