Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cross Talk

Dear members of this spring semester's
Dialogue & Dialectic practice plus
colleagues across the curriculum.

literally “cross talk,”
talk which crosses itself,
talk which talks across itself talking.

Sometimes called “metalogue” – talk
about talk: converse-action which is also
about the conversation-going-on as
opposed to any conversation which is
(bottom-line) only about some Thing or
Other: war & peace, movies & art,
politics & poverty, how to get to
San Jose, fix a lawn mower.

Call that kind of conversation: instrumental.

Call dialectic: conversation for conversation’s
sakes, argument for argument's sake: in order
to get better and good. Edification as opposed
to (not to be collapsed, conflated or confused
with) education.

Call dialectic: liberal art practice so as to liberate
& be liberated: out from under & yet still in the
cave, culture, convention, bubble, box: beyond
good & evil yet be here now, damaged & healthy,
damned & saved, captured & rescued, dead & alive
—always a play of words & oppositions going on
& on characterizing dialectic doing its dialectical
thing dialectically.

Turning UP the opposition between
instrumental conversation on the one hand
and liberal conversation on the other hand is itself :

a dialectical move.

Turning it DOWN & ignoring in order to stoke
attention efficiency so as to get some where
& some thing done:

is a dialogical move (call it getting on the
same page, in the same box: in the short run:
practical. Instrumental. Measuremental.
Assess able. Esteem able. Rate able.
Grade-able. )

Dialectic welcomes both dialogue and debate,
but is neither and more than both.


Play with IT.

Feel free to punch Reply to Sender,
or better: Reply to ALL and we
can start up this practice any time
or where. Put IT (& us) in play.

Sam Courses Without Borders Series

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