Criticism and Conversational Texts: Rhetorical Bases of Role, Audience, and Style in the Buber-Rogers Dialogue

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political philosophy, modern philosophy, specific text, conversational critic, interpersonal dialogue

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This essay describes conversation as an ensemble accomplishment that can be illuminated by critics working with specific texts within a rhetorical framework. We first establish dialogue as the key concept for any criticism of conversation, specifying the rhetorical dimensions of interpersonal dialogue. Second, we show how template thinking is particularly dangerous for conversational critics and suggest a research (anti)method, based on a coauthorship, that provides a thoroughgoing dialogical access to texts. Finally, we exemplify dialogic criticism of a conversational text by analyzing the famous 1957 dialogue of philosopher Martin Buber and psychologist Carl Rogers.

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Human Studies, v. 19, issue 1, p. 85-118