Human Consciousness and the Construct of Meaning in the Communication Theories of Marshall McLuhan and Vilém Flusser
Two of the most original and influential communication theorists of the past century, Canadian Marshall McLuhan and the German-Jewish-Czech born Brazilian Vilém Flusser, expounded the view that the dimensions and perceptions of consciousness are recurrently modified through the adoption of new forms of media intervention to acts of human communication. For these two theorists, then, communication acts play the decisive role in the formation of identity. In this respect they are both electronic age versions of classical rhetorical theorists who, far from simply writing primers on persuasion, brought to their task an entire social ontology of human consciousness. By contrasting their evaluations of the communication theory by criteria and opinions, coming across most pronouncedly is their common belief that the communication process is an adjunct to human experience; one which nonetheless has the ability to shape the self-constructing perceptions of our consciousness and construct meaning in the world.