Beliefs, Models, Analogies

Communication as Metamathematics

"When we no longer use communication to communicate but to communicate about communication, as we inevitably must in communication research, then we use conceptualizations that are not part of but about communication. In analogy to metamathematics, this is called metacommunication. Compared with metamathematics, research in metacommunication is at two significant disadvantages. This first is that in the field of human communication there exists as yet nothing comparable to the formal system of a calculus.... The second difficulty is closely related to the first: while metamathematics posses two languages (numbers and algebraic symbols to express mathematics, and natural language for the expressions of metamathematics), we are mainly restricted to natural language as a vehicle for both communications and metacommunications. This problem will arise again and again in the course of our consideration."