Relativity of Visual Communication

Arto Mutanen (Naval Academy of Finland, Finland)


Communication is sharing and conveying information. In visual communication especially visual messages have to be formulated and interpreted. The interpretation is relative to a method of information presentation method which is human construction. This holds also in the case of visual languages. The notions of syntax and semantics for visual languages are not so well founded as they are for natural languages. Visual languages are both syntactically and semantically dense. The density is connected to the compositionality of the (pictorial) languages. In the paper Charles Sanders Peirce’s theory of signs will be used in characterizing visual languages. This allows us to relate visual languages to natural languages. The foundation of information presentation methods for visual languages is the logic of perception, but only if perception is understood as propositional perception. This allows us to understand better the relativity of information presentation methods, and hence to evaluate the cultural relativity of visual communication.

Article in: English

Article published: 2016-03-31

Keyword(s): communication; compositionality; interpretation; language; pictorial language; relativity.

DOI: 10.3846/cpc.2016.240

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Coactivity: Philosophy, Communication / Santalka: Filosofija, Komunikacija ISSN 2029-6320, eISSN 2029-6339
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