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Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies and Paradoxes

Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies and Paradoxes [Kindle Edition]

Paul Watzlawick , Janet Beavin Bavelas , Don D. Jackson , Bill O'Hanlon
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The properties and function of human communication.

Called “one of the best books ever about human communication,” and a perennial bestseller, Pragmatics of Human Communication has formed the foundation of much contemporary research into interpersonal communication, in addition to laying the groundwork for context-based approaches to psychotherapy. The authors present the simple but radical idea that problems in life often arise from issues of communication, rather than from deep psychological disorders, reinforcing their conceptual explorations with case studies and well-known literary examples. Written with humor and for a variety of readers, this book identifies simple properties and axioms of human communication and demonstrates how all communications are actually a function of their contexts.

Topics covered in this wide-ranging book include: the origins of communication; the idea that all behavior is communication; meta-communication; the properties of an open system; the family as a system of communication; the nature of paradox in psychotherapy; existentialism and human communication.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1224 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (9 Jan 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H987FL8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #103,337 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a MUST READ book. 18 Oct 2001
I came across this by accident. I am surprised it has not been quoted more. It provides a valuable insight into human communication. This insight will be useful to anyone who has to deal with people and understand communication issues.
It is well written and an easy read. The concepts described are explained well and there is a good reference section.
Despite it's age, it still stands up.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars still a marvellous classic in its genuine field 4 July 2001
By A Customer
Watzlawick et al.' idea of a Pragmatic Theory of Communication, as advocated in their famous "Pragmatics", is an outstanding contribution that still is not fully recognised in its impact and importance.
The book itself contains a mass of interesting references of which the perhaps most essential leads to the great Gregory Bateson. By using and furthering the development of lots of Bateson's concept, this book established a completely new insight into the principles of interpersonal communication, an insight that since the early days of the "Mental Research Institute" in Palo Alto, California, influences social psychology, therapy of families and other groups, research on behavioural interaction, communicational therapy.
With a unique talent for making use of philosophical ideas of various backgrounds like Kuhn's Philosophy of Science, Morris' Semiotics, Russell's contribution to Logics, or Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Language the authors succeed in presenting their at the time new, but until today still fascinating approach, revealing a revolutionary liberality of taking points of view that can neither be reduced to a behaviouristical or biologistical thinking nor to the omnipresence of psychoanalysis. This book is born in the cybernetic revolution, a child of the times of Norbert Wiener, Gregory Bateson, et al., and it is written in a splendid and crisp style with an immense background of empirical studies, theoretical and bibliographical knowledge, and scientific courage.
I could name many books which are on top of my list, among them Watzlawick's "How Real is 'Real'?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best in human comunication subjects 14 Oct 2008
By ES.
A classic in human communication. it goes in detail through typical hidden patterns of behaviour and much more. Exquisite, elegant, cientifical. A must read to understand how we communicate, inside and outside.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on communication ever written. 23 Aug 1999
By Prof. R. Paris - Published on
I read this book some 30 years ago, as a graduate student. I was then highly impressed by its cogency and readability. Rereading it now, I have nothing to change in my highest rating of this unusual book. Now that I am going back to teaching, I will certainly use it if there is a Spanish translation available. I have read other works by Watzlawick, but this one remains without a doubt his best. I wish he'd write a new edition, since I am sure he's accumulated countless experiences and ideas in the years that have elapsed. I highly recommend this book to all people interested in interaction and communication.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprising great, readable, and useful academic work 29 Feb 2004
By Claude - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book has the trappings of a typical academic, scholarly work, with ten zillion references and each chapter broken down into sections (1.1, 1.2, etc.) discussing a specific topic in each section. By section 1.2 (not far into the book!), I was becoming put off, because the author launched into a discussing of "the mathematical concept of functions." As I "sat through" this explanation, I was wondering "why the hell am I reading about mathematical function in a book titled the Pragmatics of Communication." Still, I stuck with it, and later in the book, the author tied everything together. I stuck with it because the book is so readable, and the points the author makes are so eye-opening, that I truly enjoyed reading it. I suspect you will, to, regardless of the level of your interest in academic or scholarly works! One thing about a great book - you get an appetite for more! Unfortunately, based on other reviewers comments, other Watzlawick works do not rise to the level shown here, so if you have to chose one, chose this one!
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not miss it 18 Mar 1999
By - Published on
How could I be the first person to rate this universal masterpiece? This is one of the 5 to 10 books that should be read by everybody. It has some absolute value, regardless of the historical or personal contingencies of the reader. If you miss it it will only be your fault...
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If understood deeply, this could save you a lot of grief 14 Dec 2002
By Ken Edelston - Published on
This book has had a profound influence on my life. Not a day goes by that I do not use the knowledge of interactional patterns that I gleaned from Watzlawick et al. I have used these concepts in my therapy practice, in everyday life, in fights with my wife, and in understanding both historical and current world events. The writing is clear and understandable. The concepts are elegant. This is a must read for any student of human behavior.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best on human interaction 1 Feb 2003
By A Customer - Published on
This book is one of the best on human interaction. It shows us why we fall into certain patterns and end up trapped in our own interaction cycles. If you are looking for insight about what is really going on in relationships, this is a great book. It is slightly technical but the majority is understandable to most people without much expertise in communication or psychology. A book that is even more understandable and insightful is Rhythm, Relationships, and Transcendence by Toru Sato. Both authors are excellent and are forerunners in the field of relationships right now. I'd recommend both very much!
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