Technique, theory and philosophy

I hope that this study of dialogue offers a way of acting in the world, a way of being in the world and a way of seeing the world. By this I mean that I hope to offer a technique of dialogue that is a practical tool. I also intend to develop a theory of dialogue. Also, more abstractly, I hope to explain the philosophy of dialogue that is implied by the technique and theory. The three layers of my definition of dialogue offer a technology for enabling dialogical spaces, an archetypal theory of dialogic process, and a philosophy of emergent dialogue as world-view.

In early 2004, a colleague and I developed a survey, based on the early formation of the archetypal model of dialogic process. Using what may turn out to be an overly complex interpretation, we showed a slight statistical correspondence in our limited sample of respondents between the archetypal roles and the personality types of Myers-Briggs.

In 2004, I used an early working definition, which was comprised of the theory of enabling dialogical space and the theory of dialogical gifts, to evaluate several places in Ireland.

Since 2004, and including the case study in Ireland, I have been using my working definition of dialogue as a framework for design. I am using my working definition to test and develop spaces and processes of engagement that are dialogical. Using the definition as a framework, I am exploring the implications using more specific design questions such as:

How can dialogical environments be created that encourage dialogic process and lead to emergent dialogue for the purpose of building and maintaining community cohesion and identity in the face of adaptive challenges?

I offer these as examples of how my working definition has become for me a practical tool in design of physical and social places, a theoretical model of dialogue and a frame through which to view the world.