A Multiagent Systems Theory of Meaning Based on the Habermas/ Bühler Communicative Action Theory

  • Christian Lemaître
  • Amal El Fallah-Seghrouchni
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1952)


Based on J. Habermas/Bühler’ Communicative Action theory we propose a novel framework that goes beyond the classical speech act theory and its intentionalistic interpretations. We introduce a comprehensive theory of meaning for communication acts assuming that the content of natural language utterances can be classified in three different domains of discourse, each one with a different type of semantic validation: the domain of objective facts, the internal or subjective domain of the sender, and the social relational domain of the sender and the receiver. Following Habermas, we introduce also a crucial shift in the agent interaction approach, focusing on the conversation control issues, on the receiver and not on the sender. We claim these two new approaches of mutiagent interactions will allow to control and manage the complex interactions among agents in open real world applications.


Interaction theory philosophy communication languages communicative agents speech acts framework 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    J. L. Austin. How to Do Things with Words. Clarendon Pres. Oxford, 1962.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    C. Castelfranchi. Modeling social action for AI agents. In Artificial Intelligence 103, pages 157–182. Elsevier, 1998MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    P. R. Cohen and C.R. Perrault. Elements of a Plan-Based theory of Speech Acts. In L. Gasser and A.H. Bonds (eds.), Readings in Distributed Artificial Intelligence, 1988.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    J. Habermas. Postmetaphysical Thinking. The MIT Pres. Cambridge, 1996.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    J.Ch. Meyer, R.J. Wieringa (eds). Deontic Logic in Computer Science, Normative System Specification. John Wiley, 1993Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    A. S. Rao and M. P. Georgeff. Modeling rational agents within a BDI-architecture. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning. 1991.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    J. Searle. Speech Acts. Cambridge University Press. 1969.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    J. Simao Sichman, R. Conte, Y. Demazeau, C. Castelfranchi, A Social Reasoning Mechanism Based on Dependence Networks. In M. Huhns & M. Singh (eds.); Readings in Agents, Morgan & Kaufmann, 1997.Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    M. P. Singh. A semantics for speech acts. In M. Huhns & M. Singh (eds.); Readings in Agents, Morgan & Kaufmann, 1997.Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    M. P. Singh. “A Social Semantics for Agent Communication Languages”. In THE Proc. of IJCAI “Workshop on Agent communication Languages”, 1999.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Lemaître
    • 1
  • Amal El Fallah-Seghrouchni
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratorio Nacional de Informática Avanzada, LANIAMexico
  2. 2.Laboratoire d’Informatique de Paris Nord, LIPNFrance

Personalised recommendations