Weiterbildung, 4 | 2020 pp 10-13

This article, that draws upon a recent book (Guilherme/Morgan 2018), considers dialogue and its use in education taking the political philosopher Hannah Arendt as an example. It is argued as worthwhile for two reasons: First, dialogue is understood usually as a conversation, as an exchange between two or more individuals or sets of individuals. Secondly, it has been the subject of enquiries in Occidental philosophies of education since the Socratic dialogues of Plato and of Xenophon. However, these have focussed on effective communicative exchange. They have not always considered the relations involved in dialogue, such as whether power is symmetric or asymmetric. Dialogue may have a goal, but it may also be open and fluid with no one knowing where it might lead. In practice dialogue does not operate simply between two persons or groups; it comprises also internal tensions, contradictions, and crosscurrents.