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Observations on Transaction

A Discussion of Watzlawick’s Second Axiom


Gerhard Gelbmann

This book deals with two aspects of interpersonal communication – the content aspect and the relationship aspect. Concepts like meta-communication are analysed, as well as reductionism, social system or aspect. The study criticizes approaches toward a Philosophy of Communication which start from notions like Ordinary Language or Language Instinct or Communication as Oriented Toward (Mutal) Understanding. This essay gives a vivid, sometimes witty and polemical discussion of several points linked to themes like idealisation or systemic concept of person, and it proposes an attempt to base a conception of communication on the constructivist’s understanding of the term of observation. The way how a comprehension of transaction is shaped proves to be useful for understanding emotions as an element of human life and social interaction.
Contents: Content aspect – Relationship aspect – Object-information – Meta-information – Meta-communication – Linguistic reductionism – Transaction – Auto-transaction – Aspectation (seeing as) – Idealization – Person as semiotic subject – Social system – Critique of ordinary language.