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Conversation as ...

Paul Grobstein's picture

Notes for a conversation about conversation

(in Literary Kinds, February 2010)

Some starting questions:

  • Why does one talk, read, write?
  • Why do others talk, read, write? 

Conversation as

  • self discovery/affirmation
  • social grooming/positioning
  • revelation
  • construction


"Of that which we cannot speak we must remain silent" ... Ludwig Wittgenstein

"The answer to the question 'What is the way the world is? What are the ways the world is?' is not a shush, but a chatter" ... Nelson Goodman

"I think that categories can be in flux, but most are so fixed in our mindsets that our biases make it impossible to overlook certain categories." ... racheir

Problems of/requirements for conversation as construction

Can there be anything new under the sun?

Can one contribute to it oneself?

How does one do it?

Be willing to start from individual subjectivities

Challenge existing understandings, shared subjectivities

Enjoy creation of new shared subjectivities

What about the risks of doing so?

Permanent uncertainty

Againstness and aloneness

Towards a culture of ability? 

Deconstructing and reconstructing understandings, both individual and cultural




Paul Grobstein's picture

conversations on conversation

Paul Grobstein's picture

conversational openings ...

Interesting conversation.  Thanks all.  Lots of things to thing more about.  Among them ...

  • the idea that new ideas result from "chatting" rather than necessarily being born as isolated insights of particular brains
  • the issue of what happens to ways of seeing the world that are kept within one brain rather than being shared