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McLuhan in Reverse

His General Theory of Media (GToM)

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Robert K. Logan

McLuhan in Reverse proposes two new and startling theses about Marshall McLuhan’s body of work. The first argues that despite McLuhan’s claim that he did not work from a theory, his body of work in fact constitutes a theory that Robert K. Logan calls his General Theory of Media (GToM). The second thesis is that McLuhan’s GToM is characterized by a number of reversals, including his reversals of figure and ground, cause and effect, percepts and concepts; and the medium and its content as described in his famous one-liner "the medium is the message." 

While McLuhan’s famous Laws of Media are part of his GToM, Logan has identified nine other elements of the GToM. They are his use of probes; figure/ground analysis; the idea that the medium is the message; the subliminal nature of ground or environment revealed only by the creation of an anti-environment; the reversal of cause and effect; the importance of percept over concept and hence a focus on the human sensorium and media as extensions of man; the division of communication into the oral, written, and electric ages along with the notions of acoustic and visual space; the notion of the global village; and finally, media as environments and hence media ecology.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Logan, Robert K., author.

Title: McLuhan in reverse: his general theory of media (GToM) / Robert K. Logan.

Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2021.

Series: Understanding media ecology; vol. 8

ISSN 2374-7676 (print) | ISSN 2374-7684 (online)

Includes bibliographical references.

Identifiers: LCCN 2021010378 (print) | LCCN 2021010379 (ebook)

ISBN 978-1-4331-8245-7 (hardback) | ISBN 978-1-4331-8246-4 (paperback)

ISBN 978-1-4331-8247-1 (ebook pdf)

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