I Communicate, Therefore I Am


Communication is an indispensable element of man’s internal and external development. Man communicates with himself (intrapersonal communication) with the use of thought; man communicates with others and creates social relationships with the use of the word and image (interpersonal and media communication). Finally, man communicates with the transcendental reality, with the Absolute, with God (the spiritual, man-God communication). Communication as an experience seems more original in relationship to the thought. However, the communication does not the write the thought off. There is no communication (action) without the thought. The thought guarantees that man, Homo agens, “never experiences anything external without having at the same time the experience of himself”[1]. The experience, according to Wojtyła, is the basis of knowledge of the man, what it constitutesabout himself. “This experience, which man has of himself, is the richest and apparently the most complex of all experiences accessible to him”[2]. The experience of man is composed of this experience of himself and of all other men whose position relative to the subject is that of the object of experience, that is to say, who are in a direct cognitive relation to the subject”[3].

And if we regard communication as the experience of one’s “self – I” as well as of the other person, the thesis “I Communicate, Therefore I Am” seems to be justified. This combines the two theses presented above: “I think, therefore I am” and “I see, therefore I am”. What is more, it eliminates the historic and technological rivalry between the word and the image. However, a definition of interpersonal communication and of Homo communicans is required. We shall attempt to answer to this question in this chapter. This will be an anthropological study, a study of communication understood as an act which reveals a person. Yet this will not be an ethical study on communication which incorporates a person, although “the moral modality of human action” cannot be neglected. The experience of morality and the experience of man are a unity in perception of man. The stadium assumes the experience and comprehension presented in the “Acting Person” book. “For us”, writes Wojtyła, “action reveals the person, and we look at the person through his action. For it lies in the nature of the correlation inherent in experience, in the very nature of man’s acting, that action constitutes the specific moment whereby the person is revealed. Action gives us the best insight into the inherent essence of the person and allows us to understand the person most fully. We experience man as a person, and we are convinced of it because he performs actions”[4].


[1] K. Wojtyła, The Acting Person, p. 3.

[2] Ibid., p. 3.

[3] Ibid., p. 4.

[4] Ibid., p. 11.

Autor: Jarosław Jęczeń
Ostatnia aktualizacja: 12.04.2014, godz. 00:16 - Jarosław Jęczeń