Ludwika Malewska-Mostowicz


Spis tre¶ci:


Mutual Understanding as a Value
Problems - solvable and irresolvable?
Multifunctionality of dialogue as a chance for solvable problems


Multifunctionality of Dialogue conception
Dialogue as a type of synthesis and Socratic Conversation
Dialogue - an Art of Literary and philosophical Convention
Conversation as a Situation Giving Sense
Polyphony of Dialogue in Culture and Philosophy
Dialogue - a Polyphony Value
Dilemma as a Structure of the Intermediate Realm
The Sense of Human Fate Renewed through Dialogue and Paradox
Construction of the Intermediate Realm - The Method and Ethics of the Conversation


Appreciable Dialogue
The problem of dialogue as a symbol of supreme values
Dialogical sciences and philosophy
Conditions of the Possibility of the Dialogue
The Value of Dialogue


1. Mutual Understanding as a Value

What is a value? The environment. What is a conversation? The environmental and every day activity. Value seeking in a philosophical as well as in every ordinary conversation appears to be an important motive of contemporary culture. This motive accompanies events within which arise levels of communication between people of different views and places on the earth. Therefore, the quest for value in the field of dialogue proves to be identical with the quest for modes of communication. Common levels and variety of voices of the dialogue jointly create the way communication as an art of existence.

2. Problems - solvable and irresolvable?

Within the last centuries dialogue, though functioning since the most remote times, has been truly appreciated for its curious value. Today's dialogue plays several diverse roles that of convention and conversation as well as art of seeking moral and aesthetic values in polyphonical and multivocal world. As a matter of fact, multivocality becomes increasingly polyphonic being able to bestow some sort of creative sense on pessimistic convictions limiting possibilities of human knowledge. Nevertheless, these convictions are transformed by this multivocality into a dangerous aggregation of irresolvable problems. These problems, in turn, confer on the humanities (together with philosophy devoid of scientific rigours) the bad fame of twaddle with neither logical nor real grounds; this phenomenon has been discovered by positivist trends since the middle of the 19 th century till now.

3. Multifunctionality of dialogue as a chance for solvable problems

I perceive dialogue in its contemporary unclear multifuncionality as a chance originating from the distant approach towards the problem of irresolvability. Is it not possible for irresolvability to have several guises? It happens to be different - because the common world is diversified as well: there are numerous sciences, points of view, arts of existence, multivocality of natural languages etc. Taking it all into account we gain a kind of distance towards the problem of irresolvability. This problem is a fact of everyday life; it is a fact of colloquiality. It should be rejected upon in the context of dialogicality of the humanities.

Exactly, that kind of approach might be assured taking into account dialogicality of the humanities, pluralism of contemporary culture, undefined matter of existence, choices and aims - in all, colloquiality.

On the other hand, a distant approach towards irresolvable problems arises when we consider the role of value coefficient in language and cognition. Due to this coefficient both philosophy in particular and the humanities in general display a factor (irresolvable problems) which usually a positivist, a classic (in the sense, according to which classical attitude is above all manifestation of dogmatic faith in formal logic), logician and a mathematician - namely, 'mysteriousness'.

What particularly bothers many is the fact that this 'mysterious' value (and irresolvable problems) coefficient cannot be fully defined.

What we do not know about values greatly exceeds what is already known. Hence, we can trace the lack of trust to the scientificality of the humanities on the part of various positivist schools and orientations.

The association of the participation in the dialogue with value is a fact both in colloquial and in philosophical conversation. Obscurity of value in the dialogue in the field of irresolvable problems reflects the current state of philosophy, its chances, bonds with colloquiality and art, creativity. Due to this obscurity applying categories such as dialogue is necessary; the outcome of such a procedure is acquiring certain type of rational cliché for the factors of value.

Multifunctionality of dialogue is a chance for discovering of metalanguage for paradoxes as a symbol of solvable problems. It is necessary to constitute a definition of dialogue as a conversation, value, style of mind.


1. Multifunctionality of Dialogue conception

Each day we employ a category of dialogue. The very word "dialogue" has been deeply implanted in culture. It has played numerous roles in the traditional epistemological context: (1) an interchange of thoughts between two persons, (2) polydimensional conversation, (3) polydimensional mode of existence, (4) polilogue as a type of culture, (5) opposition and complementarity of the monologue and dialogue itself, (6) style of dialogical mind, (7) style of conversation as a conflict-preventional-mind.

(8) Any sensible structure happens to be called a "dialogue". (9) By virtue of such a situation even the rate of dialogue complexity is relative depending (9a) on synthetic or analytic approach and (9b) on type of question.

In the consequence we have one synthesis of epistemological and existential aspect of dialogue on some dimension: 1) type of sensible structure, 2) type of situation 3) model of exchange of questions and answers 4) type of sensible polydimensional synthesis 5) synthetic fact 6) type of text in the context of universal values and motives of humanity.

Situations are also encompassed by multifold synthesis of the dialogue. The most ancient religious scripts, sacred books (of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam) present a discourse exactly in the manner (style) of dialogue - as a tool of expression and symbolic communication. In such a context it expresses a chiasmus of emotional and rational standpoints, impressions, convictions and world visions. A sensible structure of human existence in the culture i.e. on existence dialogue is a method of existing (1) knowing (2) conversation (3) communication (4) and expression (5), creation (6).

Dialogue is an instrument and a model of knowledge and existence. Literary and scholarly works utilising the tool of dialogue also retain much a primary artistic-discursive nature. Like Plato's dialogues expressing philosophical content and constitution - there are mode of communication.

2. Dialogue as a type of synthesis and Socratic Conversation

Dialogue - it is polydimensionality in the sphere of communication (1), expression (2), creation (3), discovery and transformation of values (4) - in terms of one synthesis. It is therefore possible to seek dialogue in this sense, exactly as a philosophical and cultural value, beginning with Socrates and Plato through Kant's and Hegel's theories up to current diverse philosophies of the language, articulation, creation and communication (e.g. H.G. Gadamer, M. Merleau-Ponty, A.O. Apel, B. Waldenfels, J. Ladriere, I. Kristeva et al.).

A number of contemporary thinkers continue this tradition. Ladri è re speaks of "a sense articulation" in the field of dialogue, H.G. Gadamer speaks of "an unending discourse in the common world".

Socrates is one of those forerunners of contemporary thought who have discovered dialogue as both philosophical and practical technique, aimed at both communication and contemplation. Those few recorded moments of Socrates' colloquies with Athenians are the source of literary, scholarly and psychotherapeutical dialogue. In his encounters with people on the streets of Athens he expressed and substantiated social and individual need of approaching the truth. Socrates' and Plato's dialogues scrutinise human place in the world among other men, objects and phenomena. Thus, the philosophical category of the dialogue is both an occurrence and a modelling situation in the concrete culture and in the universality.

Cultural sources, including the most remote monuments of civilisation testify to the fact that dialogue-discourse is a significant occurrence in social environment. It is an occurrence creating the mode of communication, quest and expression, and the permanent mode of convention is a value. In the result dialogue it is a value.

C. Dialogue - an Art of Literary and philosophical Convention

What is particular in the essence of the dialogue is its being inrooted within the European culture. It is a fact symbolising: synthesis and change, conversation and a scholarly discourse. In these terms it means a query over unity among several conventions. History of poetic art enables to decode the range of employing the mode of dialogue. Since Aristotle and Horace until the contemporary literary history, (e.g. Wellek and Warren), dialogue is manifested as a mode of utterance to be scruti-nised regardless of its content, or closely bound with it. In the first case it is an object of inquiry within the language theory (in one of its variants); in the other one dialogue permeates theory of cultural forms. As a result of this, we speak of dialogue text or dialogue cultural occurrence. Most frequently dialogue is perceived as a form of the model of the cultural reality fragments, and language theories are its mutations. It is so because popularity of so called realms integrating different areas of learning creates as intermediate realm. In - it's category today between concrete and general conventions e.g. between speech, theory of both philosophical and colloquial language and theory of social fact. Dialogue is, in the sense, subconsciously viewed as a semiological model which enables to comprehend the world of "I - myself " and the world of "they - themselves" as the world petrified and designed.

Briefly speaking, dialogue is the pattern of cognition and creation of the world through discourse and challenge. It concerns circumstances in which dialogue is not merely a form (mode) or convention but also a situation - either simple or elaborated one. What is most frequently encountered by us in everyday life is the elaborated situation of sense-giving through dialogue. Thus, dialogue is viewed as a form of symbolic content, philosophical and linguistic category, situation, convention, finally a model. We are apt to allot sense to each of these cultural forms. Both sense-making factors and nonsensemaking factors alike are included in the dialogue.

D. Conversation as a Situation Giving Sense

Nevertheless, in order to discover common features of several dissimilar postures and function of the dialogue in the culture I find it necessary to assume that dialogue is one of the sense-giving situations, and concurrently its variants. The assumption has to be made that such a situation can be described within the texture of semiological model; the one that contains oppositions while simultaneously aiming at one of the opposition symbols.

Thus, very briefly indeed, I drew a line linking a contemporary stereotype with a tradition. Model means here - the dialogue i.e. sensible entity (sense totality). "Dialogue pattern" is a term aiming at finding a contemporary formula of "dialogue as a value". This is not only a "mode of quest" for truth and for good as Plato and Socrates used to say, but, above all, a way of human existence in the common world.


mysteriousness and indefinity. Dialogue proves to be cliché often useful in the humanities.

In all, one might say that contemporary dialogue constitutes one more symptom of the backwardness of the humanities as compared to sciences, technology and vocational disciplines. In the humanities it is said more and more frequently about what we do not know about aesthetic or moral values, and also more is said about what we know and what facilities inventions and improvements we desire.

What has just been mentioned is one of the clichés of the dispute between positivism and its implications for currently circulating attitudes. Describing and employing any viewpoint in isolation with a dogmatic certainty do not make sense. What seems to be more sensible is describing several different attitudes in their interdependence in the dialogue. Such a cliché, according to me, proves at least partly that nowadays we are witnessing a process of shaping dialogical a priori.

What counts within it is not radical uncompromising choice of "better" criteria but a system of "diverse" ones. However, the presence of universal scopes of common world such as values of humanism is also important. Thus, dialogical a priori maintains its importance as the basic scale of choice.

Within their framework, concreteness is exactly as significant as the ideal. Finally, concrete choices and ultimate ones are constantly interwoven in everyday life and its philosophical theories. Perhaps, while seeking ultimate choice it is worth turning to the philosophical tradition of Socrates, Descartes, Kant, Husserl and Marx and redecipher here in such a real world of ours what those people have thought about values, how they strove to improve the world, how they coped with difficulties in polyphony. It is equally fascinating to realise how we reply similar questions, preserving our historical knowledge and having certain prospects for future. Such a dialogue, comprehended exactly this way, will enable to live one's life better in the world of recent values, concrete and universal alike. To live better equals to our ability of solving dilemmas in the way enhancing creative potential of values in the common world. The world as such is the one perceived from an a period dialogical angle i.e. a conversation a priori in the perspective of concrete and universal values.

2. Polyphony of Dialogue in Culture and Philosophy

Various chiasms and confusions of values of different degree accompany polyphony. Its indispensable though temporary limitation is constituted by discussions, disputes and dialogues. They, in turn, popularise and solidify conventions of conversations possessing only e.g. either economic values or ethical ones. Such limitations are nevertheless, known to be deceptive i.e. each auxiliary limitation of the sphere of value in the dialogue; after all each discussion involves maximum spheres of the world of values, though every particular of them aims at precisely selected levels. Polyphony, no matter whether in the scale of literary text e.g. extended romantic drama or whether in the scale of cultural existence e.g. the problem of synthesis and that of languages and cultures - each polyphony is different. Similarly a priori of the text, dialogue and value - all of them are polyphonic.

Polyphony of the philosophical text is often comprehended as pathology of the science and the language. The cause of pathology is thought to be unclarity of values and indetermination of a priori hypotheses; in other words what lies at a basis of philosophical sense is unclear. Here, I attempt to outline the definition of unclarity being in the situation of polyphony while taking advantage of the dialogal model. As a result of it, polyphony of the philosophical text may be explained as a polyphone of dialog situation; this, in turn symbolises the pluralism of voices in the field of indetermination. Pluralism of voices expresses pluralism of problems. In consequence, the notion of pathology of the philosophical text may be substituted by polyphony of problem in the dialogue situation.

If polyphony becomes a popular fact of contemporary culture it is presumably worth seeking various methods of investigating such a phenomenon. Here, I would suggest a brief description of the techniques of investigating polyphony of the philosophical text through polyphony of the philosophical problem. I call such a technique a dialogue in culture and philosophy. This enables to retain pluralism of values and modes of their functioning as well as to separate particular spheres though interdependent.

Approached this way a polyphonic text is a chiasm and a set just like the intermediate sphere and dilemma. They appear to be a characteristic feature of dialogue situation. In the philosophical tradition they are manifested in the guise of a "bridge problems".

Within the context of world polyphony Cartesian problem of the bridge acquires several meanings because it plays the role of connection between real and typological contradictions. Such a bridge within polyphony (of the text, fact, event, conversation) signifies the chiasm of adverse voices in the dialogue, the chiasm of dilemma segments, criteria dims and values. Exactly here more could be said - polyphony concerns building many bridges between contradictions. During dialogue a model and a being, an event and its type are spanned with difference and interdependence. In the philosophical tradition patterns of dialogue are the patterns of functioning uncovering in the midst of polyphony not only common and universal factors but concrete values in concrete conversation as well. As a result - whether we speak about colloquial or philosophical conversation, concrete or abstract one - what follows is a synthesis of theoretical and practical dialogues i.e. the ones constituting different aspects and postures. In this situation formula of appreciable dialogue is meaningful but only under the condition that intermediate realms, bridges and chiasms of contradictions multiply. It results in arising of the wide range of dialogue types, the types of intermediate realm and polyphony mutations. Extending the spheres of dialogue functions is a phenomenon which is enhancing a chance of widening experience, during which the knowledge about values is acquired; this, however, largely invalidates the dialogue as a tool of cognition.

The obvious outcome is utilising this category in the role of universal key. Such a key is unnecessary. What is needed instead is the reflection on dialogue indicating its value-creating sense and handiness as well as a way of locating its particular functions. Such a reflection may contribute to the process of enriching the world of universal values and individually important; it may assist in posing questions over the sense of human life; it can also facilitate the orientation in everyday existence (and in other fields of culture) comprehended as space between ideal and reality, being and design, group and an individual, dialogue and monologue, communication and expression.

Polyphony of the world in art is less troublesome than polyphony in philosophy. The tradition of philosophical posture is often bound with coercive nullifying of other views facing the prevalent one. I wonder if this is the only tradition?

3. Dialogue - a Polyphony Value

Since the period of Classicism and Romanticism till Modernism of the turn of the last century European literature and philosophy alike have introduced changes extending possibilities of viewing dialogue as a specific value. As we have already pointed out, it means that dialogue is a multi-level value in the culture. A such, the value fulfil itself while pondering over the role of the conversation both in theory and practice, philosophy and everyday life, simultaneously becoming a synonym of mutual understanding in the common world. Dialogue as a value is, therefore, a system of dynamic value-creating functions of elements of culture which show in every exchange of information as well as its mutations described as dispute and discussion. Gradually, value signifies more and more rarely "one of the plenty" and more and more frequently "the unity of plenty". That is why the question about change becomes the one concerning the very role of dispute, discussion and exchange of information - their aims and meanings. This led to springing up theories aiming at defining dialogue as universum of communication (e.g. Kant, Hegel, Humboldt, Husserl, Durkheim, K.O. Apel, B. Waldenfels). Moreover, there are theories seeking peculiarity of dialogue as isolated feature of human environment. Discovering dialogue in the texture of human environment and in the model - this is how these both currents could be called. In the first case as I pointed out before, dialogue becomes an event, in the other the result is a model a priori i.e. the system of conditions of all possible experience incoded in the realms of human mind or, should I employ more current term, in the realms of cultural patterns.

Polyphonicity in philosophy proves to be hardly definable and hardly acceptable. Its tradition is certainly not easy and not sufficiently defined. Two mutually complementary perspectives are its main concern; seeking both an auxiliary and universal value.

For approximately two centuries till nowadays what has been constantly in the process of shaping are complementary views bestowing value on dispute not on its result, on question not their answers, mutual understanding not univocal gradation of views according to the well-worn criteria of sense and nonsense, truth and falsehood, good and evil. As a result of it the role of the dialogue, to a large extent, pertains the dynamics of value, the value being shaped in a talk. A talk or a conversation is both a process and a system, it links and divides, it gives people a sense of freedom within the framework of community, and indicates the necessity of the quest retracing universal factors of human existence, the quest reaching back to the tradition and future. Both in the following steps of Classical German philosophy as well as in Husserl's frame of mind conversation, dispute encounter are twofold. They are the model of communication and the event. It leads to a situation in which it is no longer possible to speak of, merely, one sense of the notion "dialogue". Dialogue is a word both multivocal and multifunctional. This word calls for definition only on different system levels of functioning. Furthermore, building concrete bridges within a specific dialogue should not obscure particular and universal aims.

Here, I wish to depart from the utilised here to convention employing examples from the tradition. Instead, I would pay some attention to the way of defining dialogue functions depending on the dilemmas arising in the midst of it. Dilemmas are the main structure of each intermediate realm of dialogue, or, as I have previously said, the structure of the level of agreement and difference. Such is a framework or choice in the perspective of value.

4. Dilemma as a Structure of the Intermediate Realm

Indicating intermediate realms aims at designing technique of solving disputes over importance of views on the value as such; that means that dialogue plays instrumental and ontological functions. It discovers value-creating factors and is the value as well. It is the value, because among other reasons, it facilitates the solution concerning embedding of the value in being and cognition; in consequence it changes the nature of dispute over the status of science, humanities, philosophy, ethics, art and other realms of culture. The very assumption of "dialogue as a value" is analysed in the world in different ways in the world. What is a common feature of the surveys presented here is a system-like nature of dialogue functions. Summarised clichés of the set of functions which play the decisive role here are - dispute, opposition, dilemma bridge spanning contradictions etc. Together with the intermediate realm of opinions in sense-giving (sense bestowing) situations already touched upon in other work.

The framework of intermediate realm - dilemma possesses highly diverse appearance. Most frequently, it amounts to the structure - either - or. Here, I will almost exclusively refer to its dubious posture (not to be regarded as the only one). In other words, I will outline the project of reflection over the dialogue; this project envisages the dialogue as a process of uncovering oppositions which, directly or indirectly, relate to values outside the currently indicated dialogue and its intermediate realm as well as oppositions casting a peculiar value out of the dialogue - an event both necessary and indispensable. These are, above all, oppositions: like that of sense and nonsense, isolation and mediation, concreteness and universum, logicality and illogicality, struggle and agreement, partial knowledge or a total one. The oppositions mentioned here concern, above all. A system-like structure of the dialogue. Nevertheless there are others about which I will speak in a moment while writing about dialogical dilemmas in the context of processes of "sense-bestowing upon the world". Sense and nonsense are further treated as a relative image of dilemmas originating from the source oppositions of order and chaos. We will also assume that what does prevail in the philosophical tradition is a conviction that order constitutes higher value than its opposition, but simultaneously, that it is possible to differentiate at least two of its kinds: the order fully based on the existing conventions and the order discovered and discovering new ones.

The design (or project) of reflection on dialogue assumes that the levels of dialogue functions are his meanings arranged according to the category of intermediate realm. I consider this category a convention which, in terms of philosophical method, is in the process of becoming and that such a method is both discovered and discovering the sense of order separate for each of examined subjects (based on dilemmas or oppositions). "Intermediate realm of dialogue" can be also a name of the level of mutual understanding and common creation of universal and concrete cultural values. Cultural values are coefficients of each everyday conversation, each dispute and discussion. The meanings (kind of sense) of dialogue, in other words the meanings of intermediate realms express themselves in dilemmas and ways of inquiring of values fulfilled within their framework. The processes of sense-bestowing upon the world include abundance of intermediate realms on a number of levels.

Dialogue, the dilemmas in-rooted in it and systems of values create, I would think, an important framework of these realms. They contribute to the essence of dialogue its intermediate realm. In this work we assume that aim i.e. structuring of intermediate realm in the theoretical dialogue or every common agreement - such an aim is a value just because it contributes to fulfilling values such as: sense, meaning of discovered order and rediscovered conditions of mutual understanding (or agreement).

Thus, dialogue concerns values and their materialisation on many levels e.g. seeking them in the possibility of originating intermediate realm, in the accomplished of agreement, in seeking both universal and concrete values, in the process of sense-bestowing - all against the background dilemmas and infinite question over values. As a result of this, it could be stated that dialogue as a value is in-rooted in the milieu of values. Every question concerning its source and aims uncovers other spheres of this environment. Pluralism of the spheres of value and their "intermediate realms" is disclosed in the dialogue in both existential and typological way, as a model and existence alike. In this sense, dialogue allows us better than other research strategies to get acquainted with cultural world as the world of values. In other words - the processes of sensegiving (sense-bestowing) through dialogue also give sense through value itself. They show diversity of culture world and chances of the order displaying both existential and typological nature, simultaneously being bound with tradition - the order truly creative and projecting. They also show that in the dialogue a new quality, very much different from particular voices is being shaped - that new quality is the value originating from within "intermediate realm".

Sense bestowing through dialogue and value induce seeking such facts in tradition and current affairs which are symptoms of the quest for order of "intermediate realms". In philosophy various factors like: dispute, discussion, confrontation and the problem of dilemmas and contradictions belong to them. These also exist in every colloquial conversation. In the perspective of the dialogue "a priori" they do not only reach the goals and fulfil the values of the concrete conversation, but they also renew the sense of human fate through the accomplishment of unending conversation in the culture.

5. The Sense of Human Fate Renewed through Dialogue and Paradox

The sense of dialogue, conversation or dispute is in the processes of sense-bestowing to the world. These processes, colloquially well known, as they may be, have also their philosophical versions and vice versa - new factors of processes of sense-bestowing are easily understood through recognition of dilemmas, hardly solvable for a long time. Within this context the problem of clear or unclear criteria is a more general version of detailed problems such as: oppositions, universalism and particularism, socialisation and individualisation, the life in the community or in isolation in idealisation and concreteness, and so forth.

The quest for criteria of sense becomes the process of seeking methods of building intermediate realms against the background of dilemmas, contradictions and disputes. Moreover, it is even quite possible to agree to views (like those of existentialism, hermeneutics) holding that contradiction and paradox constitute the basic matter and a form of existence. Several currents of contemporary thought include conviction that opposition (irresolvable in terms of logic, as maintains the principle of non-contradiction) as well as a paradox i.e. the fusion of oppositions as well as drawing conclusions from them - all these currents constitute the essence of philosophical dispute and existential and typological essence of employing dialogue category. They allow to establish communication between harmonious and intrinsically contradictory vision of the world.

Feeling and understanding the world of paradox consists in indicating the "intermediate realms of dialogue". These are accessible (both intuitively and rationally) in each colloquial talk, philosophical treatise, the work of art. It is also mandatory to take into account both the paradoxical and internally contradictory world and harmonious and logical world. Both universes coexist in theory and practice alike i.e. philosophy and colloquial life. What signifies coexistence of the world of logic and a paradox is previously mentioned chiasm of classical and anticlassicalising tradition, Cartesian and anti-Cartesian (in the sense of infinite notion of bridge and intermediate realm). Coexistence of both worlds creates technical problems of construction of "intermediate realms of dialogue", discovers problems of the spheres of surface of mutual understanding, the problem of its senses; the surface so basic in philosophy and each conversation.

6. Construction of the Intermediate Realm - The Method and Ethics of the Conversation

A technical problem, meaning mandatory cuts, they are really indispensable in relation to the hypothesis about the total universe e.g. according to the rational pattern a priori or to the pattern of complete phenomenology of world phenomena. It is sheer intuition that brings about such a hypothesis in a predicament in which we strive to adjust complementary attitude of logic and illogicality. Any attitude requires resignation of the part of apprehended world, provided we keep in mind the fact that it is a respectful attitude towards others in the dialogue. The resignation will become a methodological category (a kind of method), if we assume that excluding and supplementing is mainly accomplished in the dialogue and is indispensable. The resignation mainly manifests itself in relation to other views and attitudes; in other words this would mean deliberate consent

to other voices in dialogue. Renouncing what is thought to be one's own in favour of "others" attitude may mean: the resignation, either provisional or ultimate.

As a result of it the technical problem of indicating intermediate sphere (logical and illogical picture in several guises) is the one of choice among attitude such as "building bridges between oppositions" or "destroying bridges", or "doing it partly or totally", for universal or particular aims. The first attitude is dialogically more effective because of two reasons. Firstly - because it allows to approach the ideal of intermediate and total realm. Secondly - because it allows to fulfil the dialogue centred around the agreement as a value. The second argument means a peculiar kind of dialogical effectiveness. It is subsequently conceivable to speak of it in a moment when moral aspects of adopting dialogical attitude. For the time being it can be indicated that the efficiency we consider is not merely auxiliary and pragmatic. It could be rather formulated that this kind of efficiency is like that of Don Quixote and Kant: as each auxiliary aim is limited by universal aims whereas each universal goal is reached in absence of auxiliary deficiency. Both goals (or aims) are mutually exclusive and complementary. It is, however, widely known that dialogical efficiency; being based on the intermediate realm and resignation; becomes a regulative principle. Certainly not anybody can nullify its paradoxes and this autoironic and tragicomical world constantly assuming, discovering and designing.

It is also on the border of functions of "intermediate realms" in science and morality where the ethical aspect of dialogue appears. It concerns decisions regarding aims of dialogue in science and colloquiality. What is at stake is answering the question whether the aim of the conversation (or the dispute) is linking contradictions with bridges or pointing out separate regions; radical solution of the exposed problems or formulating new irresolvable ones. In all, the basic decision concerning the sort of dialogue pertains either its constructive or destructive nature in relation to the values. I would see the direction of originating values in the dialogue leading to a wide intermediate realm. The lack of this standard causes annihilation of the value in the dialogue i.e. tha lack of mutual understanding or deceptive understanding (the understanding which rejects both sense and nonsense, logic and its absence more frequently constitute a handy way of rejecting the adversary's standpoint than giving a name of relatively defined separate areas. The rejection of an opponent's standpoint as well as rejection of understanding usually takes place also under the pretext holding that "the other side is wrong" and, besides, totally unacceptable.

The sense of separate voice in the dialogue is both concretely and typologically different from the sense of the dialogue as an entity. Difference of voices in the dialogue means "otherness" in both moral and cognitive sense. "Intermediate realm" is a way of establishing a synthesis of values as well as originating a common language and common meaning for different voices in the dialogue.

A similar situation concerns dispute over the final criteria of good and evil. In appropriate situations of the dispute over final criteria of logicality or the sense we have to accept temporary criteria and resolutely and honestly to indicate the goal of confrontation i.e. to establish whether the conversation is bound to end with understanding, defence or the destruction of partner's attitude. In each of the cases already mentioned, the sense of the dialogue will be different i.e. it will be either concrete or universal from the point of view of logic or ethics; moreover it will be the sense which is fulfilled in one of the typical or detailed dialogues. Different meanings coexist with other values. Communication within the framework of the dialogue always suggests universalist aspiration of the chosen attitude; which, in turn, is always only partial. Rejection of intercommunication equals to consent to the particular attitude. Hence, dialogue may aim at fulfilment "value in general" or "value indispensable here and now". "Perfect dialogue is the one where intermediate realm is also a synthesis of all these types of fulfilling sense and its values". "Otherness of dialogue" depending in the technical problems mentioned above (which as a matter of fact concern values i.e. problems of criteria resignation, effectiveness, a kind of struggle) often manifests itself on the social scale as a variety of postures towards the world. They can be shortly called "destroying bridges" and "building bridges".

Destroying bridges and domination of the particular aims (often unconsciously) facilitates (often unconsciously) aggression, fear, confusion and so called feeling of nonsense. On the contrary - spanning bridges contributes to shaping common goals, appreciation, positive interhuman ties. Generally speaking, it could be said that while living in pluralistic world we exist in the dialogical world. The guarantee of its existence as well as the existence of a separate "I" in the environment of positive social bonds is the second kind of attitude. I would tend to call it an "attitude of dialogue" in appreciable sense. It is attitude of which technical conditions of fulfilment can be found in the grand tradition of tragicomical characters, which is the one of solving dilemmas of "dialogue with the world and others". It is the attitude of construction of intermediate realm - in the concrete and universal perspective in the consistent and open way.


1. Appreciable Dialogue

Thus, the problem of the sense of dialogue (both in a cognitive and ethical way) is a problem of its social, colloquial, philosophical and technical meaning; in other words - the problem of the conversation in a contemporary world. Today the category of dialogue is often extended in the sense corresponding the situation of confrontation of persons, views, languages and cultures. What more, for many years on opinion has been established concerning dialogicality of contemporary culture. To my mind, the meaningful adaptation of the hypothesis about dialogicality of contemporary culture manifest itself when we consistently apply appreciable dialogue. It leads, as a tool and a way of existence in the culture, to the possibility of describing symptoms of dialogicality through the way of perceiving and experiencing events as well as through constructing models.

Dialogical model or models of cultural existence should facilitate directing indetermination and determination struggle and mutual understanding situations, resignation and projecting. Dialogue as an existential fact and a tool of orientation has to originate from somewhere and serve something. To be sure it is a factor of certain tendencies in the tradition which nowadays were strengthened. It can serve to spread destruction or to guide a contemporary man on his entangled life path. Dialogue as a model and existential fact is equally responsible for an important aspect of culture. In turn, it can include certain ambiguity. Such a dialogue can be a destruction or construction of the intermediate realm - destroying or building bridges. The other side of dialogue (constitution) is needed and socially beneficial despite the fact that first tendency greatly erodes individuals and societies. Dialogicality of the contemporary culture; as well as diversity of functions, levels and aims of the discourse; undoubtedly contributes to spreading confusion, isolation and interruption of appreciable dialogue or it facilitates the origine of deceptive dialogues. While disclosing a destructive ability in the dialogue this dialogicality inquires over the dialogue as the value. To me, another aspect of the dialogue is worth touching upon, namely value-creating dialogue, or in other words, appreciable dialogue. This aspect can be traced back to the most remote sacred dialogues as well as to philosophical works by Plato, Socrates, Kant, Humboldt, Husserl, Marx and Merleau-Ponty, Max Scheller and John Paul II. Such is a tradition of finding out the most elementary and unconditionally valuable situations. The most important of them is that of finding out one's position in the world, shaping one's positive bonds in the genuine conversation. This approach treats the tradition of dialogue as the one where understanding among people is the highest value. Such a value permits limiting the role of narrowmindedness and misunder standings arising from it. This value enables to change them during the process shaping relative independent voices in the dialogue. Acting within the scope of main values, this value enables in turn to cope with destructive tendencies aiming at twisted ways of mutual understanding and destroying of signposts.

2. The problem of dialogue as a symbol of supreme values

The problem of dialogue as a symbol of supreme values is current both in everyday life and in philosophy as a science. What more contemporary guises of the modes of philosophising centred round this value shape the tool of orientation in the common world. Not always this orientation is comprehended as science. At any rate, from what we do know about particular branches of science and so called integrative disciplines (e.g. semiology, hermeneutics, methodology) philosophical orientation in the world through dialogue oscillates between Kantian model of certain knowledge and artistic vision of the world in Cervantes (or between reason and foug). Projecting intermediate realms on other levels than those previously described contributes to the philosophical sense of the fulfilment of the values in the dialogue. "Intermediate realm" does not only deal with peculiar syntheses of the contradictions in ethical and cognitive dimension of dialogues behaviour in the colloquial conversation and the dispute alike including the ontology of mediation in science, philosophy and art.

Dialogue comprehended as philosophy, science and art combines previously separated disciplines into one intermedia-te realm, and, such, has its meaning. But diversity of the intermediate realm in the philosophy of dialogue cannot signify chaos and order merely a scheme. In other words, a dialoguous formula of science is open, rooted in the tradition and aimed at seeking understanding and shaping of the common world. Within the framework of the dialogous formula creative and cognitive efficiency. Thus, dialogous formula of ethics concerns the ethics of dilemmas and that in which two morality patterns prevail - that of Kant's (a priori of reason) and that of Cervantes and Don Quixote (a priori of art and folly), one standing for reason the other for unreason. Peculiarity is the nature of the ethics of dialogue - the ethics based on genuine accord with the world and fidelity to oneself as well as on the absolute and concrete responsibility. Mutual understanding and expression in the dialogue define the quest for materialised sense of universal ideals.

3. Dialogical sciences and philosophy

Thus, science and dialogical philosophy is associated with an attitude towards the world which is a "chiasm of standpoints" towards the "chiasm of values". It is also an attitude of placing signpost leading to the ultimate values. What criteria of dialogous standpoint are we to adopt knowing that this is just the attitude seeking values oscillating between what is universal and what is concrete? What situational criteria are we to apply finding a clear and a genuine sense of the dialogue? - it is after all on extremely difficult task posing an inseparable risk of confusion within unspecified expression, the affluence of emotional hues and impressions and allegedly justified clichés. Moreover, dialoguous attitude comprehended this way implies a risk of unspecified and total responsibility for the whole world, but also the risk of lack of responsibility in the absence of imperative regulative clichés and patterns of behaviour. Neither socially nor individually can we regard such a situation as easy. The risk of losing the right formula of the intermediate realm or the risk of missing its right formula can only decrease. This factor as such cannot be eliminated, though.

Here is one of the solution. Thinking of the responsibility scale we can say that its extremes are viewed keeping one factor in mind - the obligation. All the cultural norms whether formal of informal reflect the obligation.

It is just the obligation which happens to be traditionally significant signpost directing us towards values. In the pluralistic (dialogous) world each man is faced sooner or later with a question over the limits of obligation. While reflecting over the category of the obligation dialoguous posture approximates the ideal meaning a fulfilled integrated responsibility for oneself, science and Others. To me, obligation appears to be a set of rules (norms) based on Kantian regulative ideals (i.e. ideals of the complexity of phenomena creating a field of domination of categorical imperative - in other words: unconditional order to be a human being among other humans). Marx tells us than the man is the highest value. Husserl believes that the fulfilment of the rational values through complete typology of the common world is the highest aim. Mounier thinks that the human endeavour is the process of personalisation i.e. the process of refining an individual within the community. John Paul speaks about "Person and Activity" and on necessity of dialogue - as a remedium in the field of conflicts.

All of those principles; one might call them the rules of humanism and rationality; make up a system defining human obligation.

How are we to find a formula of such an obligation? All the tradition on the reflection over dialogue abounds with noticeable results. What many contemporary concepts of dialogue demonstrate is the validity of the permanent quest for values, a constant exploration of the area between universal imperative and the concrete rooted in the tradition, colloquiality and forecasts. Dialogical model of life is looking for signposts through Others and the surrounding world. Discovering meaning of the dispute and conversation as well as the positive bonds and creativity - this is what counts in such a model. Looking for values in the common world is the essence of this model. One might ask what can be gained through the reflection over the dialogue and experiencing its obligations. Apparently, not much. Merely one more signpost on the entangled life path will be placed. Maybe, such a guideline or a signpost would allow to experience the world more fully and to comprehend the obligation. In this sense my wiew is that the adequate term for it will be: appreciable dialogue.

4. Conditions of the Possibility of the Dialogue

What seems to be a good way to conclude the general reflections on the dialogue as the value is listing the conditions of possibilities of the "appreciable dialogue" being developed within the context of traditional and designed humanistic values as well as in the current colloquiality. We could also say that the "appreciable dialogue" is an existential fact discovered in any conversation, dispute or a discussion. It proves to be a model (a type or a tool) of the effective orientation in the contemporary culture and tradition. Appreciable dialogue both as a fact or a model, is based on discovering and creating values through shaping positive interhuman bonds. Knowing that dialogue is composed of situations and realising that each of them gives sense and purposeful action it could be said that dialogical sense is a mutation of dialogical effectiveness. There are, however, a few dimensions of dialogical effectiveness. The two most important ones are the concrete and universal effectiveness, meaning agreement in the perspective of the regulative idea of perfect appreciable dialogue.

The kind of dialogical effectiveness is highly dependent on the signposts and these are to be rediscovered for each conversation, whether in science, ethics, philosophy, art or colloquiality (everyday life).

Here I call the signposts the conditions of possibilities of the dialogue. While listing the conditions of the appreciable dialogue we aim to find a reply to a question: "How is dialogue possible?" In other words, such a list attempts to introduce conditions of the possibility.

The most important of those I mention while designing significant features of the notion: the appreciable dialogue valuable and effective of dialogue within the sense of both universal and concrete axiology. Obviously, it is a sketchy and incomplete design, and to keep it open I employ only very few examples.

(1) The first condition of finding one's place in the dialogue is a tie with the tradition. The tradition replies a question posed by Zbigniew Herbert:

Should the theme of art
Be a broken jug
A soul torn apart
Pitying oneself aloud
What is left after us
Will be like lover's cry
In a small filthy hotel
When wallpapers begin to dawn
("Why classics")

Harmonious antique world (e.g. Tucitydes, Platon) and in vision of world's rationalisation as viewed by e.g. Kant and Hegel in the design of complete phenomenology as science and rigorous philosophy - is the one which is to supplement paradoxical and internally split world of numerous voices of the colloquial dialogues nowadays. The second world - is the world of Socrates, Cervantes, Camus and of Everyman today. The both world and tradition are variable.

(2) The second condition is the ideal of the language displaying universal and concrete dimensions according to the tradition leading from Humboldt to contemporary semiotics, phenomenology, hermeneutic and at the first place - the activity of John Paul II. These all constitutes indispensable basis of the regulative ideal of intercommunication, the attitude of understanding as a value, with a relative difference of voices (languages).

(3) The third condition of possibilities of the dialogue is the dialogical orientation defined by the attitude and the need for conversation; the behaviour centered around main values, like that of natural understanding interwoven in the individual expression (the understanding being fulfilled within the traditionally universal rules).

(4) Comprehending dialogue as technique of cognition and creating the strategy of being is the fourth condition. The features of the technique create such phenomena as - dispute, inquiring, codefining in the dialogue. Its condition is dialogical effectiveness consisting of the resignation as well as universal aims (aspirations) as well as of the truly peculiar technique of struggle and dispute.

(5) At fifth - it is just the dialogue which is determining the intermediate realm: I/World, I/Others. The processes of giving sense to dilemmas, contradictions, order and chaos forms shape the intermediate realm.

(6) The sixth condition of dialogue is assuming its relative conventionality. Moreover, this conventionality is creative and dynamic. A relative conventionality of dialogue concerns its various modes of existence on the verge of numerous conventions.

(7) At seventh - dialogue may be treated as a model and event, the feature of contemporary culture in its schematic and individual way. Being acquainted with clichés and designing their restoration is the approach.

(8) The eighth condition consists in treating dialogue as the expression freedom and comprehending necessity. To summarise - the freedom of expression and necessity of communication fulfil themselves in the appreciable intermediate realm.

(9) The ninth condition holds that dialogue is both a fact and design of description of the typical manifestations in he contemporary culture.

(10) The tenth condition stresses one thing: dialogue is a way of education.

(8-10) The last three conditions become more eventful first of all through the reflection on obligation. Each day the obligation permeates education and self-eduaction. Educational dialogue creates value through the outburst of the joy of life, through the fascination with the concrete and through the sensible drive to the absolutes as well through uncovering creative possibilities in every usual conversation. In all, one might say that dialogue-conversation realises hidden promises, needs and conditions of agreement. It contributes to moulding certain type of sensitivity; presumably dialogical sensitivity. Such a phenomenon can uphold positive, creative ties infusing tradition with new contence and perspective of change.

(11) The eleventh condition could be articulated this way: in all fields of contemporary culture - dialogue is closely bound with the tradition of humanism. What could be gained are norms of shaping the man as the highest value of the common world.

(12)While keeping in mind the twelfth condition we have to view the dialogue in its complexity as a multifunctional notion. How often it functions as an empty cliché obscuring the authentic solutions as well as a word-metaphor being a cultural symbol signifying long tradition and its chances for future.

5. The Value of Dialogue

We are surely far from enhancing possibilities of dialogue. The of the word, multifunctional as it is, depends much more on the context than on the general cliché. In this sense, it is a tool of relativisation of human attitudes. Far from being set once for all it is a tool of pluralisation of events and senses in culture.

Why should we bother with extensive deliberations on dialogue? Few contemporary people consciously employ wordsstereotypes while mildly succumbing to mass-media and advertisement as well as to the authority of numerous advisers. The responsibility formerly very often the main condition of existing in the culture among people is taken away from the contemporary man.

Ten new outlook on dialogue makes us reflect on responsibility because it elicits reply to the question: What is my place in the dialogue, to Others and the world. Putting it another way: How should I discover and transform my place in the intermediate realm? What is at stake is the question over the sense of life in the common world - the sense of life being common, individual, total and partial. The sense of dialogue is above all the sense of its conditions, responsibility and freedom. Dialogue as a cultural fact concerns all the versions of originating values.

Here, as my moment before, deliberations on dialogue might be stopped as well, because of the accusation of being fruitless and futile. However, a different procedure might be adopted, namely, showing the convenience of the metaphorical and multifunctional category. Furthermore, what could be indicated is a fact that any given name might become the centre of deliberations on the values in the culture, because each subject and name is undoubtedly immersed in the infinite environment of the common world. Each thing refers both to itself and, thus, to every other name and the subject; this is also what Husserl wrote in his Ideas. Furthermore, each name and an object introduce a cluster of diverse parts, both orderly and chaotic aspects of the common world.

Artists and philosophers, like P. Valery and M. MerleauPonty have used to say that each situation of perception is the one of chiasmus. Each of its elements regards to objects, feelings, animals and people. Dialogue is also a situation of perception and its assumption a priori.

In consequence, each question concerning dialogue as the value has no reply. Instead, there is a great influx of words: dialogue, sense, value. Each finite reply is partial and calls for detecting and indicating conditions of the point of view and intermediate realm of the selected posture as well as the posture of others. Once more perspectives of infinite metareflection are open. How to tackle in this world so dialogous and pluralistic with a duty to give univocal replies.

Such a world of ours is a fact. Therefore, what a philosopher's thought may do is to place signposts without any possibility of pointing all the way - the way synonymous to the quest for unconditionally important and socially and individually valid values. If values as such, appear unclear it is because they are both unreal and indispensable. To my mind, it is unthinkable to have a philosophical reflection without mutations of it. Such a unity is derived from dialogicality of the world bestowing upon people a duty of locating intermediate realms amidst contradictions; furthermore, the unity we have presented here is a result of the fact that in the total perspective the world may be more rich than split into branches, fields and specialisations - like a broken mirror.

In order to justify my efforts to use dialogue in philosophy in relation to such a difficult philosophical category as the value I venture to quote a fragment of Zbigniews Herbert's poem entitled Mr Cogito's Message. Its subject-matter is combining classical sharpness of sight with a Quixotic urge to strive for the unreal. The reality torn to pieces is challenged by the poet with autoirony scepticism. Tradition and Other people in the common world, uncompromisingly clear criteria, though dimmed by their indispensability - all of them win the poet's respect. He might teach dialogue best of all maintaining his credo:

Repeat old spells of the mankind, fairy tales and legends
Thus, you shall attain the good which you shall not attain
Repeat great words stubbornly as often as you can
Like those who walked through the desert and vanished in the sand

Copyright by
Ludwika Malewska-Mostowicz - Laboratory of Intercultural Translation
[Ostatnia modyfikacja:
11 stycznia 2002 r.]