What is conversation theory?

Cybernetics and Human Knowing 30 (1-2):45-63 (2023)
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The purpose of the following text is to give readers a general introduction to Gordon Pask’s conversation theory, which is considered here to be a cybernetic and epistemological account of concept-forming and concept-sharing through conversational discourse and practice. While Pask devoted three lengthy tomes to articulate the theory and its applications, I believe it is necessary to give readers who are interested in conversation theory a general introduction to what I believe are the key features of his work in this area. I argue that conversation theory should be considered an inferential account of the theory of concepts rather than a representational account, by virtue of Pask’s argument that a concept must be a process that involves many other concepts.

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Thomas Manning
University College London


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