Show Less
Restricted access

McLuhan in Reverse

His General Theory of Media (GToM)

Series:

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.

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter Two The Ten Elements of McLuhan’s General Theory of Media

Extract

In this chapter I will describe the ten elements that I believe comprise McLuhan’s General Theory of Media indicating how they are intertwined. They include his use of or notions of the following:

(1)probes;

(2)figure/ground: the key element in McLuhan’s general theory of media;

(3)the medium is the message;

(4)the subliminal nature of ground or environment revealed only by the creation of an anti-environment;

(5)the reversal of cause and effect among other reversals;

(6)the importance of percept over concept, the human sensorium and media as extensions of man;

(7)the division of communication into the oral, written, and electric ages and the notions of acoustic and visual space;

(8)the notion of the global village;

(9)media as environments and media ecology; and

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.