Knowledge through Discourse
This chapter outlines foundational understandings regarding the place of information in the flow of discourse among free individuals, a process through which knowledge is created and, ultimately, individuals come to understandings with others. In the background of John Dewey's and Jurgen Habermas's conceptualizations regarding the formation of knowledge via discourse among individuals are assumptions about how private individuals engage with others in order to come to conclusions that can ultimately take the form of public opinion. Enlightenment and discursive thinkers have, however, diverged in important ways in regard to the role of the individual in society and the nature of truth. The most crucial differences between the Enlightenment era ideas that were so influential to those who authored the nation's founding documents and those who subscribe to more discursive understandings regarding communication in democratic society relates with how the nature of truth is conceptualized.