Date of Award

5-1-2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Speech Communication

First Advisor

Gingrich-Philbrook, Craig

Abstract

In the pages that follow, I offer a theoretical perspective for thinking about communication. My ideas here are informed by different existential philosophies that were prominent at the beginning of the last century. Taking up the project of what German philosopher Karl Jaspers calls "philosophizing in communication," this exercise in thought reflects an emotive and scholarly movement that dances around a central notion of communication as possibility. Drawing upon the oblique concept of Existenz as a philosophical and communicative orientation--elucidated in the past by thinkers including Søren Kierkegaard, Martin Heidegger, and Karl Jaspers--I explore this idea so as to illuminate some new ways of thinking about intrapersonal, interpersonal, public, and mythic forms of communication. It is my hope that, ultimately, hearing our own Existenzspeak might conjure an atmosphere of thought and communication predicated on freedom and re-enchantment with the mysteries of existence that, however subtly, call out to us through channels both familiar and strange.

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