Date of this Version
Canadian Journal of Communication
Writings by and about McLuhan trace his interest in the comparative study of media to his literary training at Cambridge in the 1930s which was occupied with the aesthetics of sight and sound and the predominance of representational forms over the content represented. This paper puzzles over the lack of reference -- by McLuhan, his mentors, and his critics -- to an earlier group of British thinkers (from Shaftesbury to Adam Smith) who deliberated over the differences among the arts. Their treatises on how the mind processes visual and auditory information remarkably foreshadow McLuhan's assertion that the media constrain how we think and feel. Present-day debate over the effects of new media technology, as well as current theories of reception, reflect McLuhan's stimulating (though exasperating) insights. His footprints also point to cognitive science and, of course, to globalism.
This article is under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 CA license. The orginal article may be found at http://www.cjc-online.ca/index.php/journal/article/view/1046.
Katz, R., & Katz, E. (1998). McLuhan: Where Did He Come From, Where Did He Disappear?. Canadian Journal of Communication, 23 (3), 307-319. Retrieved from http://repository.upenn.edu/asc_papers/160
Date Posted: 24 February 2010
This document has been peer reviewed.