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This group has been set up to develop the philosophical doctrine of Communicationalism. It takes as its starting point the existentialist position with respect to ontology but goes on to refute the survivalist basis of ethics that places the survival of the individual Self as the primary good. Survivalism cannot be universalised because of the problem of the Other. According to any survivalist ethical system it is ethical to annihilate the Other if the Other is threatening the survival of Self. Communicationalism resolves the problem of survivalist ethics by stating that the primary good is communication between Self and Other, leading to increased understanding. Understanding leads inexorably towards an abandonment of a fixed definition of Self because it is realised that Self is merely that which is constructed to facilitate communication. That which Self and Other have in common (their shared world) can be described in rational terms. The Other is defined in terms of its foreign-ness to Self. References to texts within mainstream philosophy (particularly existentialism and other "continental" thinking), information theory, quantum physics and mystical traditions are topical to this list. Suggestions for reading material include Jürgen Habermas' Theory of Communicative Action and his System/Lifeworld distinction, Gurdjieff and Ouspensky's ideas of a Fourth Way, Sartre's existentialism, Hegel's dialectic, Noam Chomsky's Universal Grammar and David Deutsch's Many Worlds interpretation of quantum physics. All competently communicated points of view will be tolerated particularly those that present the centre of the group with the most difficulty. The importance of learning foreign languages leads us to a consideration of what language is and how it can be learned.
- May 22, 2002
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