Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 1-1-2017


One-year Embargo

Submission Type


Degree Name



Communication and Rhetorical Studies


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Pat Arneson

Committee Member

Ronald C. Arnett

Committee Member

Erik Garrett


Gabriel Marcel, Dialogue, Body, Intersubjectivity, Technology, Philosophy of communication


In a technological age, communicators report conflicting experiences of presence and absence, connection and isolation. Dislocation, distraction, and disconnection present challenges for dialogue and reveal a world broken by technology. A world broken by technology invites a response. Philosopher Gabriel Marcel (1889-1973) offers insightful reflections on ways of being in a broken world. Marcel’s philosophical reflections on body, reflection, intersubjectivity, and technology form the primary content for this dissertation.

In Chapter One, Gabriel Marcel, philosopher, playwright, and international speaker, is introduced as participant in twentieth-century Paris, France. Marcel’s philosophy emerged in response to his societal, technological, and cultural contexts. Chapter Two introduces Marcel’s philosophy of the body as one’s vital positioning in the world. One relates to the world in, with, and through one’s body. Chapter Three summarizes Marcel’s description of experiences of the broken world and Marcel’s call to reflection upon one’s own being in the world. Chapter Four presents Marcel’s concepts of intersubjectivity as ways of being with and available for others in the world. This dissertation proposes that Marcel’s philosophy of being in body, reflection, and being with others constitute dialogic praxes.

Chapter Five describes Marcel’s reflections on relationships between technics and persons in changing environments, in relations to technics, and in interactions between persons. Technology presents human persons with a metaproblem, a problem beyond scientific solution. Chapter Six proposes Marcel’s philosophy of being in body, attending to being, and being with others as a response to the problems presented by technology. A world broken by technology invites a response. Marcel offers warnings and hope for the person, a being who navigates a technological world.