Punkten som inte finns - om ett ämnesdefinierande informationsbegrepp

Romulo Enmark


The cognitive channel metaphor, i.e. the famous sender/receiver model, presupposes, in my opinion, a point at which the sender’s message meets the mind of the receiver where it transforms into comprehension. It can also be expressed like this: The information process in its cognitive version of channel metaphor expresses the thought that there is a point where the "object" (the sender’s message, preferably in "recorded" form) meets the "subject" (the comprehension of the receiver). In other words, I suggest that the cognitive channel metaphor postulates a specific situation where and when the reader reads the text and comprehend its content. In this essay I would like to state that: 1. the point where the "subject" meets the "object" does not exist, 2. the study of that which the non-existing point symbolizes can not be described in a general manner without becoming trivial, 3. it is not possible to find an obvious relation between the sender’s statement and the receiver’s comprehension and, 4. the study of the "subject" and the "object" takes place in different methodological and theoretical dimensions.

This leads to the conclusion that the subject definition put forward by the cognitive channel metaphor should be abandoned and that this should be done in a way that: 1. the subject defining sender/receiver model, as put forward by the cognitive channel metaphor, is abandoned, 2. the empirical research done in library and information science is taken into consideration and, 3. the research withdraws from the profession’s legitimate ambitions of utility.

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