Qualitative Immediacy and the Communicative Act

Qualitative Sociology 3 (5):162-181 (1982)
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Qualitative immediacy (also termed quality in its philosophical sense and aesthetic quality) is of fundamental importance within the pragmatic conception of meaning as interpretive act, and yet it has been virtually ignored by social scientists. The concept is traced through its foundations in Peirce's philosophy, its development in Dewey's theory of aesthetic experience, and its relation to the general pragmatic conception of the self. The importance of the "I" in Mead's view of the self is seen as similar to Firstness in Peirce and aesthetic experience in Dewey. Those turning to qualitative approaches ought to consider qualitative immediacy as a genuine addition to our understanding of human communication.

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Eugene Halton
University of Notre Dame


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