Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-4119
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4127
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Dialogue is about forgoing control and possession when interacting with the Other. In comparison, the notion of instrumentality appears contrary to the very notion of dialogue. This paper suggests, however, that mutual instrumentalization is necessary for dialogue to be a space where participants express solicitude for each other and promote each other’s voice, action, and existence. Building on the work of French philosopher Étienne Souriau, we argue that promoting another’s existence requires taking their actions and speech into our own. This enables them to also exist through us as we allow them to instrumentalize us. Such a view better accounts for what goes on in tangible dialogue situations, as we show by revisiting an empirical case. Our proposal extends current research on the conditions of productive dialogue, invites being careful about who or what populates the dialogical scene, and turns our attention to what they may need to pursue their existence.


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  • Article Type: Discussion
Keyword(s): dialogue; ethics; existence; instrumentalization; solicitude; Étienne Souriau
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