This paper is a theoretical analysis of the cognitive free-fall metaphor, used within the cognitive view, as a model for explaining the communication process between a generator and a receiver of a message. Its aim is to demonstrate that the idea of a cognitive free fall taking place within this communication process leads to apparent theoretical paradoxes, partly fostered by unclear definitions of key information-science concepts—namely, tokens, signs, information, and knowledge and their interrelatedness—and a naïve theoretical framework. The paper promotes a semiotically inspired model of communication that demonstrates that what takes place in communication is not a cognitive free fall, but rather a fall from a pragmatic level of knowing or knowledge to a level of representation or information. The paper further argues that the communication process more ideally can be expressed as a complex interrelation of emotion, information, and cognition.


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pp. 512-527
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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