Towards a Cognitively-Mediated Conceptualisation of the Cooperative Principle: An Introduction to the Maxim of Diplomacy

  • Mostafa Morady MoghaddamEmail author
Part of the Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology book series (PEPRPHPS, volume 20)


This chapter draws on Erving Goffman’s concept of dramaturgy to account for the ‘looseness’ in Grice’s principle of cooperation which has led to various interpretations made by the bulk of research done on this issue. In this work, I argue that the previous expansions of the Cooperative Principle (CP), though valuable to deal with subtle aspects of interaction, were not successful in delivering a comprehensive account of the CP as a conversation principle. Focusing on the rich existing literature and the shortcomings in each of the models proposed with regard to the expansion or modification of the CP, this study introduces a cognitively-mediated view of the CP which passes through Goffman’s theory of dramaturgy. Based on the idea of dramaturgy, individuals’ expectations are formed during the interaction according to their appraisals and judgements of the situation. This study argues for a more cogent estimate of the CP by adding, as a mediator, the Maxim of Diplomacy (MOD) to the conversational maxims. The Maxim of Diplomacy bestows a more comprehensive view of interaction by resorting to a set of cognitively-mediated communication strategies to assist the interlocutors in encoding and decoding the intended meaning by way of their appraisals of the events. The study reveals that through the CP, individuals not only mix socially with others but also actively treat each other and the context cognitively for the best cooperative results.


Appraisal Cooperative principle Dramaturgy Goffman Grice Maxim of diplomacy 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishShahrood University of TechnologyShahroodIran

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