CA699 The Epistemology of Comm

for F1P 2011

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CA 699 The Epistemology of Communication


F1P 2011 DL


Noe, J. Mark


Chair, Department of Arts & Humanities - Director, Master of Arts in Communication & Leadership

Office Location

Copley 203

Office Hours

By appointment

Daytime Phone


Other Phone

Cathy Boisen, Administration Assistant for the School of Arts & Humanities, 816.584.6263


Semester Dates

August 15- October 8, 2010

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours



Wittgenstein's Poker - The Story of a Ten-Minute Argument Between Two Great Philosophers by David Edmonds and John Eidinow

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Course Description:
CA 699 The Epistemology of Communication: This course examines the philosophical origins of communication theories and the nature of knowledge in the field. Literature will be drawn from various disciplines illustrating the eclectic roots of communication as an area of inquiry. The course focuses on a framework to analyze the various approaches.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. To provide a historical overview of the function and scope of communication.
  2. To examine the philosophical origins of communication theories and the nature of knowledge in the field.
  3. To establish the relationship between communication and epistemology.
  4. To compare Western ways of knowing to other philosophical traditions.
  5. To develop a blueprint for personal beliefs and perceptions.

Core Assessment:
A comprehensive examination involving the analysis of two case studies is the chosen assessment device for the Marketing Management course. This assessment will be the final exam and is designed to gauge your knowledge of the core outcomes of the class. This will be a closed book, closed note examination held during the designated final exam slot for this section in a proctored environment. Students are expected to spend approximately 15 minutes reading each case and about 45 minutes for each case developing an essay that addresses the core outcomes relative to the information presented for each organization. This test will count for at least 20% of your grade. This course is part of the University-wide assessment evaluation, and all sections will receive the same case for analysis.



Criteria & Definitions


I. Cognitive Skills 




Synthesis of major sources of influence




3. - Description of six or more philosophers on their epistemology and the way these influences have shaped their concept of communication.

2. - Description of 4 or 5 philosophers

1. – Description of  3 or fewer philosophers

0. No description of philosophers






Analysis of epistemology style in specific situations.

3. Chooses 3 examples to illustrate their epistemological/logical approach that includes strengths and weaknesses of each approach.

2. Gives 2 examples to illustrate their approach plus strengths and weaknesses.

1. Gives 1example and vague description of their approach without strengths and weaknesses.

0. Does not describe their approach.







Development of a blueprint for personal belief and perceptions.

3. Generates a clear statement of personal beliefs that illustrates a thorough understanding of 3 major approaches to the epistemology of communication.

2. Generates a clear statement of personal beliefs that illustrates thorough understanding of 2 major approaches of the epistemology of communication.

1. Generates a clear statement of personal beliefs that illustrates thorough understanding of 1 major approach of the epistemology of communication.

0. Does not generate a clear statement of personal beliefs that illustrates thorough understanding of any approach of the epistemology of communication.


II. Technical/Professional Skills

Professional Writing Skills





Evaluation of writing skills based on following four criteria: focus, development, organization, and mechanics.



3. Project focus is clear, thoughtful and imaginative, sources are smoothly integrated and persuasively support the project focus, sequence of topics is smooth with a convincing rhetorical pattern, and there are no grammatical errors.

2. Project focus is clear and sustained, sources clearly support the purpose, sequence of topics is logical, and occasional sentence structure or diction problems do not seriously distract the reader.

1. Project focus is clear but commonplace, sources are not always relevant and critically discussed, sequence of topics is generally easy to follow but may occasionally wander, and there are enough mechanical problems to temporarily distract the reader.

0. Project lacks focus, makes no use of sources, sequence of topics is difficult to follow, and has severe problems with sentence structure or word choice.



Class Assessment:

The final paper will be the Core Assessment for this class.
Assignment Value (Points)
Initial Cultural Perspective Paper 20
Discussion Leader 30
Threaded Discussions                         70
General Education Proposal 80
Popper/Wittgenstein Position Paper 30
Final Cultural Perspective Paper: A Blueprint for Action 100
Total 330


Final grades will be determined according to the following scale:

Below 198

Grading Criteria:
Each Assignment will be evaluated using the following four criteria developed by Dr. Steve Atkinson for evaluating the Writing Competency Test (WCT).  Some minor modifications have been made to adapt the rubric to the specific assignments for CA699.

An "A" is awarded to a project whose controlling idea seems not only clear but particularly thoughtful or imaginative.

A "B" indicates a focus that is clear and sustained throughout but that may not be especially original.

A "C" indicates satisfactory competence: the focus is clear but commonplace or conventional.

"D" and "F" projects lack focus.


An "A" is awarded to a project that, whatever its length, seems to the reader to be a full discussion. It makes use of both the material from the supplied readings and also ideas, experiences, or information supplied by the writer. All the material is smoothly integrated and persuasively supports the project’s focus. The writer seems to be a thoughtful, critical reader of the material with a genuine personal "voice."

A "B" indicates that the writer has incorporated the material both appropriately in terms of content and smoothly in terms of style, and has also contributed personal ideas and experiences to the discussion. The project’s focus is clearly supported.

A "C" in this category indicates an essay that makes at least some use of the supplied readings and some other material to support its focus, though the use may not always be relevant, and the sources not discussed critically.

"D" and "F" projects make no use of the sources, fail to provide coherent support for the project's focus, or whose use consists of unmarked quotations (copying from the sources word-for-word.)


An "A" project is not only easy to follow, its structure seems effortless because of smooth transitions and a convincing rhetorical pattern.

A "B" is awarded to the project that has a clear paragraphing and a logical sequence of topics.

A "C" project is generally easy to follow, with reasonable paragraphing, though the discussion may wander briefly.

"D" and "F" projects are difficult to follow, either because the sequence of topics is not logical, because it is repetitive, or because the paragraphing is not helpful.


An "A" project reads exceptionally smoothly, and the reader notices no errors in grammar, usage, punctuation, or spelling.

The "B" project may contain an occasional problem in sentence structure or diction, but the reader is never seriously distracted.

In a "C" project, there may be enough mechanical problems to distract the reader temporarily, but it is always possible to understand what the writer means.

"D" and "F" project have severe problems with sentence structure or word choice -- severe enough so that the meaning is difficult or impossible to understand

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Deadlines must be met on time. No assignment will be accepted late without an excuse.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1 - Get Acquainted Course Specs
The place of epistemology in Philosophy
Discussion:  What Do We Really Know?
Plato: The Allegory of the Cave
Discussion: The Allegory of the Cave
Faith and Science
Discussion:  Is God Real?
Initial Cultural Perspective Paper: The Nature of Knowledge - Assigned
Week 2 - Presentation of Cultural Perspectives
An Overview of communication and epistemology from a cultural perspective
Discussion: Communication and Epistemology
Whitehead: Universities and their function
Initial Cultural Perspective Paper: The Nature of Knowledge - Due
General Education Proposal - Assigned
Week 3 - Wittgenstein's Poker
Discussion Wittgenstein's Poker
Polkinghorne: The Nature of Knowledge
Discussion:  Epistemological Perspectives
Popper: On the Sources of Knowledge and Ignorance
Continue work on General Education Proposal
Final Cultural Perspective Paper: A Blueprint for Action - Assigned
Week 4 - Wittgenstein's Poker
Discussion Wittgenstein's Poker
Alfred Korzybski and Kenneth Burke
Discussion:  Are Words Real?
Continue work on General Education Proposal
Continue work on Final Cultural Perspective Paper: A Blueprint for Action
Week 5 - Wittgenstein's Poker
Discussion Wittgenstein's Poker
Viktor Frankl
Discussion: Reflections on a Meaningful Life
General Education Proposal - Due
Continue work on Final Cultural Perspective Paper: A Blueprint for Action
Week 6 - Wittgenstein's Poker
Discussion Wittgenstein's Poker
Continue work on Final Cultural Perspective Paper: A Blueprint for Action
Popper/Wittgenstein Position Paper - Assigned
Week 7
Popper/Wittgenstein Position Paper - Due
Continue work on Final Cultural Perspective Paper: A Blueprint for Action
Week 8
Final Cultural Perspective Paper: A Blueprint for Action - Due

Academic Honesty:
As a learning community, the University upholds the highest standards of academic integrity in all its academic activities, by faculty, staff, administrators and students. Academic integrity involves much more than respecting intellectual property rights. It lies at the heart of learning, creativity, and the core values of the University. Those who learn, teach, write, publish, present, or exhibit creative works are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of academic integrity and make every effort to avoid possible offenses against it, knowingly or unknowingly. Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21


Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct.  Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21

Attendance Policy:

Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a courserelated question, or using any of the learning management system tools.Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 25

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:7/21/2011 11:51:44 AM