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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Opening Notes on Civil Discourse

My present notions of civil discourse include the following:

Civil discourse is talk for public and individual good. It is a respectful way of talking among equals. It is a way of talking in which the worth and judgment of the participants is a given. It requires personal modesty and an appreciation for the experience of the other participants.

Civil discourse is engagement in conversation intended to enhance understanding, It is a way to enjoy productive talk about facts, evidence, observations, and interpretations in a tolerant and courteous way.

I discussed many techniques and methods of dialogue in my Magic Table blog which are highly useful i civil discourse. A principle purpose of 'dialogue' as described in those Magic Table posts was to bring the individuals in groups of various sizes to share common meanings. That dialogue was meant to bring individuals closer to common understanding. One might consider that dialogue as an important subgroup of civil discourse.

Who is interested in learning techniques of dialogue?
What are the more useful techniques of dialogue?
Of what use may knowledge of civil discourse be in these days?
Is there a set of categories which support civil discourse and rational inquiry?

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