On Rockwell on Dialogue

Some notes triggered by Geoffrey Rockwell's A Unity of Voices: A Definition of Philosophical Dialogue

The successful dialogue, the one that teaches, is judged to be the one that brings the reader close to identifying with the humiliated (the respondent) or the humiliating (the interrogator) and allows the reader to break the identification and in so doing also leave opinions and faulty reasoning behind. In this sense, the dialogue works along catalytic principles. This reminds me of Ricoeur's notion of appropriation. Of course, the catalytic model of dialogue relies on solitary reading. And certainly does not account for rereading. [The "of course" is not so self-evident. What is aimed at is a reader able to occupy multiple subject positions hence to interrogate.]

But there is something to be found in an hermeneutic of suspension of suspicion — where the readers know about the rhetorical mechanism & choose to feign (or not) seduction. This is a highly complicated response but one I believe that is near the dialogue with the ineffable that Rockwell hinted at in his opening chapter on Heidegger.

And I wonder how much Rockwell's remark about a dialogue by Heidegger ("Dialogue is recursive." p. 33 "Chapter 2: The Danger of Dialogue") can be generalized to all dialogue. At least the turn upon itself can be activated in the reading.

And so for day 649