H L Fouché, Dirk J Smit


The concept of ‘dialogue’ can have radically different meanings to different people (Cf Müller 1991; Doeser 1983; Handgraaf 1983; Vroom 1983; Tracy 1981, 1987, 1989).  But it can also serve as an umbrella-description for major questions.  In this article the ambiguity of ‘dialogue’ is traced with reference to four well-known positions on dialogue: Gadamer (Trusting dialogue in goodwill …), Derrida (Suspicious dialogue in counter-position …), Rorty (Dialogue as therapy that changes our vocabulary …), and Haberman (Non-coercive dialogue according to rational procedures …).  Some tentative conclusions on different approaches to dialogue are drawn and reflections on the relevance for scholars and for South African (theological; religious; political; scholarly; ethical, etc) discourse are presented.


Dialogue; Gadamer; Derrida; Rorty; Haberman

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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