Exploring different intersubjective structures in relation to dialogue

Pawlett-Jackson, Sarah P. (2019). Exploring different intersubjective structures in relation to dialogue. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 18(1) pp. 22–33.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1474022216670611


In this paper, I examine some of the presuppositions that underpin the practice and interpretation of multi-person dialogue – that is, in contexts involving more than two interlocutors – with particular thought for the university seminar. I outline the ‘dialogical phenomenology’ of Beata Stawarska as useful on this count; however, I argue that Stawarska’s account is steeped in a philosophical ‘dyadic paradigm’ which has limiting consequences for practitioners of dialogue looking to understand the nature of dialogue in a group context. Against this paradigm, I argue that there are many varieties of intersubjectivity that have not been widely discussed, including we-you, we-yous, I-yous and we-they intersubjective structures. I will look further at how an understanding of these structures is valuable for dialogue within educational praxes and for the Humanities more broadly.

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