Navigating a course between self and other

In this paper I will explore two central themes, the first of which seeks to place both emotion and reason at the centre of communication.  This theme will explore contesting ideas relating to the value of emotion and reason in knowledge claims, with a focus on the implications of these ideas for various theories of communication.  My paper will draw out the way in which considering emotion and reason together, as opposed to in opposition, supports the value of difference rather than advocating a search for commonality in communication events.  Examples from human-robot encounters provide complex illustrations of the competing ideas about emotion and reason, as well being moments of communication between selves and others where difference is overtly retained.

The second theme draws on the understandings of communication that extend from the above discussion.  My paper will suggest that, instead of thinking of communication as a bridge between self and other, it may be more fruitful to consider communication as a process of navigation.  A bridge suggests a level of permanence, although bridges may of course be burnt, whereas the idea of navigation is more complex, prone to setbacks and ultimately suggests that a safe harbour, the sharing of an idea or thought with the other, may never be reached.