Notes on Dialogue
One of the greatest obstacles to the ability of different individuals in the society to engage in a constructive dialogue is the presence of monologues between different individuals which do not lead to any conclusive discussions. The Socratic approach provides the most relevant dialogue approach in the current society marked by contemporary culture. Socratic approach to dialogue is marked by conversation between different individual that is inspired by the need to listen and understand the arguments of others before responding. This will help the listener to compose himself and develop responses that are inspired by an in-depth thought on the subject matter. Socrates’ dialectics require that the people involved in a dialogue should never attack on one another on the basis of their ignorance or presumptuousness. Instead, the objective should be to dissolve an opinion and develop a new one that can provide guidance throughout a dialogue.
Genuine conversation is integral for the survival mankind in a given society. It is a precondition for the existence of humanity. One of the questions that can lead to a deeper understanding of the human condition is “What is Justice?” this question will require human beings to get involved in some form of dialogue that will be aimed at providing meaning to the term “Justice” and providing examples of justice in the society.
The process of engaging in productive conversations demands an active engagement of all the senses of the individuals involved. Ultimately, the individuals will use the mind’s eye to see and comprehend beyond the ordinary semantics of the various issues being discussed and points put across. The mind’s ear also plays an integral part in such deep conversations and perception of ideas. Both parties therefore must keep mindful ears. The main reason why conversations deteriorate is when the minds ear fails in its role.
The main objective of any reading discourse is always to seek numerous meanings possible in one question. Prior assumptions in any reading discourse helps in the development of an understanding that reading is a challenge whose understanding requires constant practice and an improvement in insights and skills. To full comprehend the content of any literature, it is imperative that the readers engage in a series of discussions with other members of the population. This will boost their understating of the underlying issues in the literature material. This is because through reading it will be possible to understand the content of the written materials. Shared inquiry is therefore the best way through which it can be of possible to learn about an idea. Embracing ambiguity is an important strategy for not only understanding but also improvising the content of literature. This will further help in developing a deeper understanding of the literature content in question.
The best question that when asked would lead to an in depth understanding of the human condition is “How does embracing ambiguity contribute to and improved understanding of the content of any literature?” Through this question, ambiguity would be understood from its role in literary works.
Both text and music are mysterious. The more an individual engages in conversations with other readers the more he realizes the plethora of meaning s that can emanate from one text or a series of texts. Every time someone reads the same literature, it is possible that he will discover different interpretations. One aspect of poetic works is that continuous readings of such works are an ever renewing experience that makes literature relatively mysterious. A poem that reveals its meaning in the first readings lacks the element of mystery compared to controversial poems whose interpretation is ambiguous. It is thus considered less of a poem.
Plato: The Allegory of the Cave
The “Allegory of the Cave” provides an explanation on the nature of reality. The cave embodies the state of human beings. The desire to exist from the cave is the key to understanding the true nature human reality. Socrates’ conversation with Glaucon offers a platform upon which Plato presents a context of prisoners who have been chained since childhood. There is a peculiarity in the manner in which each prisoner is chained. Seeing the images as they face the wall is not out of their own will; they are forced to view them. Plato holds the view that the images are not but rather; are just forms. The only way through which a prisoner can understand reality about the images would be by escaping from the bondage and experiencing true knowledge. In the dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon, Socrates argues that the prisoners perceive the images on the wall as real to an extent that they assign prestige to those who could recall all or the most details concerning the images.
One of the questions that can help in the development of a better understanding on the human condition is “How does relying on the physical senses relate with the allegory of the cave?” this will help in the promotion of an understanding on the desires by man to explore his reality as a way of exploring an understanding.
From the “Allegory of the Cave”, it is possible to argue that once an individual understands the true nature of reality, he has the responsibility of informing the ignorant members of the population with sufficient information that would lead them out of ignorance into true knowledge.
Meno by Plato
Virtue is the theme of the dialogue between Socrates and Meno, an expert in virtues, in Meno. By using dialectics to dissect and question Meno on the subject, Socrates comes to the conclusion neither the two of them has a complete understanding of what virtue means. The dialogue also focuses on anamnesis; a concept based on the eternality and all-knowing ability of the soul. By delving into the nature of definition, Socrates questions the possibility of seeking the unknown. Throughout such in-depth analysis of issues, Socrates engages the intellect of the participants and questions the widely held views on meaning of virtues. He successfully argues against these on virtues.
The best question that can be asked in an attempt to develop a deeper understanding of human condition is “How do you know that you do not know?” this question will lead to the development of different definitions and a productive conversation.
Socrates easily and readily reveal that virtue is good. Since the good generated can be in mind or in the body with respect to the role of knowledge, virtue is therefore teachable despite a lack of teachers to teach people virtues. This is discouraging since no sooner does Socrates realizes that virtue is teachable than he realizes that it is not being taught. This ultimately means that despite its existence, virtue is not taught.