For other uses, see Dialogue (disambiguation).
As a narrative, philosophical or didactic device, it is chiefly associated in the West with the Socratic dialogue as developed by Plato, but antecedents are also found in other traditions including Indian literature.
The term dialogue stems from the Greek διάλογος (dialogos, conversation); its roots are διά (dia: through) and λόγος (logos: speech, reason).
The first extant author who uses the term is Plato, in whose works it is closely associated with the art of dialectic.
Latin took over the word as dialogus.
Antiquity and the Middle Ages
Dialogue as a genre in the Middle East and Asia dates back to ancient works, such as Sumerian disputations preserved in copies from the late third millennium BC, Rigvedic dialogue hymns and the Mahabharata.
In the East, In 13th century Japan, dialogue was used in important philosophical works.
In the 1200s, Nichiren Daishonin wrote some of his important writings in dialogue form, describing a meeting between two characters in order to present his argument and theory, such as in "Conversation between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man" (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin 1: pp.99-140, dated around 1256), and "On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land" (Ibid., pp.6-30; dated 1260), while in other writings he used a question and answer format, without the narrative scenario, such as in "Questions and Answers about Embracing the Lotus Sutra" (Ibid., pp.55-67, possibly from 1263).
The sage or person answering the questions was understood as the author.
In the West, Plato (c. 437 BC – c. 347 BC) has commonly been credited with the systematic use of dialogue as an independent literary form.
These works, admired and imitated by Plato, have not survived and we have only the vaguest idea of how they may have been performed.
The Mimes of Herodas, which were found in a papyrus in 1891, give some idea of their character.
By about 400 BC he had perfected the Socratic dialogue.
Following Plato, the dialogue became a major literary genre in antiquity, and several important works both in Latin and in Greek were written.
Modern period to the present
His contemporary, the Scottish philosopher David Hume wrote Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.
In Germany, Wieland adopted this form for several important satirical works published between 1780 and 1799.
In the 19th century, the French returned to the original application of dialogue.
The inventions of "Gyp", of Henri Lavedan, and of others, which tell a mundane anecdote wittily and maliciously in conversation, would probably present a close analogy to the lost mimes of the early Sicilian poets.
English writers including Anstey Guthrie also adopted the form, but these dialogues seem to have found less of a popular following among the English than their counterparts written by French authors.
The Platonic dialogue, as a distinct genre which features Socrates as a speaker and one or more interlocutors discussing some philosophical question, experienced something of a rebirth in the 20th century.
Authors who have recently employed it include George Santayana, in his eminent Dialogues in Limbo (1926, 2nd ed.
Murdoch included not only Socrates and Alcibiades as interlocutors in her work Acastos: Two Platonic Dialogues (1986), but featured a young Plato himself as well.
Although diverging in many details, these thinkers have proposed a holistic concept of dialogue.
Main article: Philosophy of dialogue
His most influential work is titled I and Thou.
Buber cherishes and promotes dialogue not as some purposive attempt to reach conclusions or express mere points of view, but as the very prerequisite of authentic relationship between man and man, and between man and God.
Buber's thought centers on "true dialogue", which is characterized by openness, honesty, and mutual commitment.
The Second Vatican Council placed a major emphasis on dialogue with the World.
Most of the Council's documents involve some kind of dialogue : dialogue with other religions (Nostra aetate), dialogue with other Christians (Unitatis Redintegratio), dialogue with modern society (Gaudium et spes) and dialogue with political authorities (Dignitatis Humanae).
However, in the English translations of these texts, "dialogue" was used to translate two Latin words with distinct meanings, colloquium ("discussion") and dialogus ("dialogue").
The choice of terminology appears to have been strongly influenced by Buber's thought.
This group consists of ten to thirty people who meet for a few hours regularly or a few continuous days.
Freire held that dialogued communication allowed students and teachers to learn from one another in an environment characterized by respect and equality.
A great advocate for oppressed peoples, Freire was concerned with praxis—action that is informed and linked to people's values.
Dialogued pedagogy was not only about deepening understanding; it was also about making positive changes in the world: to make it better.
Main article: Dialogic learning
In the United States, an early form of dialogic learning emerged in the Great Books movement of the early to mid-20th century, which emphasized egalitarian dialogues in small classes as a way of understanding the foundational texts of the Western canon.
Main article: Egalitarian dialogue
Egalitarian dialogue is a concept in dialogic learning.
It may be defined as a dialogue in which contributions are considered according to the validity of their reasoning, instead of according to the status or position of power of those who make them.
Structured dialogue represents a class of dialogue practices developed as a means of orienting the dialogic discourse toward problem understanding and consensual action.
Whereas most traditional dialogue practices are unstructured or semi-structured, such conversational modes have been observed as insufficient for the coordination of multiple perspectives in a problem area.
A disciplined form of dialogue, where participants agree to follow a dialogue framework or a facilitator, enables groups to address complex shared problems.
The rationale for engaging structured dialogue follows the observation that a rigorous bottom-up democratic form of dialogue must be structured to ensure that a sufficient variety of stakeholders represents the problem system of concern, and that their voices and contributions are equally balanced in the dialogic process.
Structured dialogue is employed for complex problems including peacemaking (e.g., Civil Society Dialogue project in Cyprus) and indigenous community development., as well as government and social policy formulation.
In one deployment, structured dialogue is (according to a European Union definition) "a means of mutual communication between governments and administrations including EU institutions and young people.
The aim is to get young people's contribution towards the formulation of policies relevant to young peoples lives."
The application of structured dialogue requires one to differentiate the meanings of discussion and deliberation.
Groups such as Worldwide Marriage Encounter and Retrouvaille use dialogue as a communication tool for married couples.
Both groups teach a dialogue method that helps couples learn more about each other in non-threatening postures, which helps to foster growth in the married relationship.
The German philosopher and classicist emphasizes the original meaning of dialogue (from Greek dia-logos, i.e. 'two words'), which goes back to Heraclitus: "The logos [...] answers to the question of the world as a whole and how everything in it is connected.
Logos is the one principle at work, that gives order to the manifold in the world."
For Dietz, dialogue means "a kind of thinking, acting and speaking, which the logos "passes through"" Therefore, talking to each other is merely one part of "dialogue".
Acting dialogically means directing someone's attention to another one and to reality at the same time.
Against this background and together with Thomas Kracht, Karl-Martin Dietz developed what he termed "" as a form of organizational management.
Separately, and earlier to Thomas Kracht and Karl-Martin Dietz, Rens van Loon published multiple works on the concept of dialogical leadership, starting with a chapter in the 2003 book The Organization as Story.
Moral dialogues are social processes which allow societies or communities to form new shared moral understandings.
Moral dialogues have the capacity to modify the moral positions of a sufficient number of people to generate widespread approval for actions and policies that previously had little support or were considered morally inappropriate by many.
Communitarian philosopher Amitai Etzioni has developed an analytical framework which—modeling historical examples—outlines the reoccurring components of moral dialogues.
Elements of moral dialogues include: establishing a moral baseline; sociological dialogue starters which initiate the process of developing new shared moral understandings; the linking of multiple groups' discussions in the form of “megalogues”; distinguishing the distinct attributes of the moral dialogue (apart from rational deliberations or culture wars); dramatization to call widespread attention to the issue at hand; and, closure through the establishment of a new shared moral understanding.
Moral dialogues allow people of a given community to determine what is morally acceptable to a majority of people within the community.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialogue.