Having a philosophical dialog that’s mild and playful but profound


Having a philosophical dialog that’s mild and playful but profound

By Kristof Van Rossem

Kristof Van Rossem (°1969) holds a Grasp diploma in Philosophy and in Sciences of Faith. For greater than 20 years, he has been an unbiased coach working with dialogue and reflection in numerous organisations. His specialities are the “artwork of questioning” and variations of “Socratic dialogue”. Kristof is educating Enterprise Ethics at Odisee College Faculty of Brussels and he’s a instructor coach within the division of philosophy of the College of Leuven (KUL).  

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Reflection begins the place the expression of private opinion is disrupted. In spite of everything, anybody who solely repeats in a dialog what they’ve considered one thing for a very long time doesn’t suppose. Philosophizing collectively teaches you to suppose extra sharply, to concentrate to the pursuits of others and to inform your individual story with extra conviction. It takes you right into a free world full of latest ideas and emotions.

As a scholar of philosophy, I used to be intrigued by how I might use philosophy to enhance individuals’s pondering in each day life and work. I turned an unbiased coach and I’ve been working with all types of individuals, from detainees to prime managers. However have a constructive philosophical dialog with others? Which philosophical expertise do you want for that? As I couldn’t discover any respectable ebook describing how you retain dialogues on an elevated philosophical degree, I made a decision to write down one myself.

In “The philosophical dialog. The fundamentals” you will discover an important philosophical expertise for having, or main, a philosophical dialog that’s profound and but mild and playful. Right here, I spotlight two fundamental expertise which might be wanted. First, it’s worthwhile to hear correctly and second, it’s worthwhile to ask the fitting questions.

Cease pondering, begin listening 

The artwork of asking questions is the results of the artwork of listening. A nicely formulated query is the results of cautious listening to the interlocutor. There are primarily two methods of listening, a ‘full’ means and an ‘empty’ means. In a philosophical dialog, it’s worthwhile to hear with an ‘empty’ thoughts. 

The complete means of listening known as ‘full’ as a result of your individual pondering is totally current. In listening to your interlocutor, you suppose like: ‘I recognise that’ or ‘I can apply this to my very own scenario’. You examine whether or not what the opposite says suits your requirements or your judgement. In different phrases, any such listening is selective, judgmental, colored by one’s personal pondering. 

This fashion of listening just isn’t unsuitable in itself. The listening is for example accomplished by consultants and is impressed by the necessity for options. It is not uncommon in conditions the place motion must be taken rapidly: on the physician’s, as a plumber, as a researcher, when gathering information. In a philosophical dialog, this fashion of listening just isn’t beneficial. In spite of everything, there is no such thing as a drawback to be solved of which you’d know greater than the opposite.  

The ‘empty’ means of listening is totally different. This fashion of listening begins from an perspective of ‘availability’ or ‘presence’. This perspective implies an entire openness to all the things that’s taking place, not solely within the dialog but additionally within the setting: the vitality, the aesthetics of the setting, the feelings, the main points within the speaker’s physique language and tone. It implies an consciousness of each what is occurring within you in addition to what is occurring within the different. 

Solely in your silence can the opposite reveal himself as one other particular person and develop his concepts. The silence implies the acceptance of each sentence the opposite particular person will produce, and likewise the realisation that it’s going to all the time be totally different from what you suppose. This perspective stems from a familiarity with silence and that silence is prime to the method. In being silent, you give house and time to your interlocutor to precise what he desires.

The fundamental questioning expertise

Questioning appears easy but it surely isn’t. It requires an empty head and a full concentrate on the opposite. You may evaluate it with archery. Your query is like an arrow. It comes out clean and easy, straight and within the route you need. You don’t get a second probability. Archery as nicely begins with the acceptation of what’s there. After which it’s worthwhile to practise. These are an important suggestions:

1. Formulate one query at a time

It’s Sunday morning. Mum asks her sixteen year-old daughter: ‘So, how was the social gathering yesterday? Have been there lots of people? Did you may have an excellent time? Did you see Sandy?’ The daughter is silent, scratches her head and goes on Instagramming. What do you count on? In the event you ask many questions directly, you’re really busy with your individual pondering. You aren’t being attentive to the opposite particular person! One query at a time lets you pay extra consideration to the opposite particular person’s response.

2. Formulate your query as merely as attainable

If you ask a query, your intention is that the opposite thinks concerning the reply and never concerning the query. In case your query is simply too tough or too vaguely formulated, the opposite is not going to perceive you. Attempt to formulate your query so simple as attainable. A philosophical dialog is tough sufficient! So, as a substitute of, ‘Would it not be attainable to check this out empirically?’, simply ask ‘Are you able to give an instance of this?’.

3. Formulate your query as briefly as attainable

A attribute of a nicely formulated query is that the opposite remembers the query. A query like ‘What’s your accountability as a mother or father given the truth that you’re in command of two adolescents who’re struggling to search out their very own means in life?’ is tough to recollect by the interlocutor. So it’s higher to ask, ‘What’s your accountability as a mother or father of two adolescents?’. most is about ten phrases.

4. Ask questions like a chameleon

Don’t introduce new ideas in your query. Identical to a chameleon sitting on a tree takes on the colors of the tree and turns into invisible to enemies, an excellent questioner makes use of the opposite’s phrases as a lot as attainable. On this means, the opposite can recognise himself within the query and can be extra motivated to reply it. In the event you copy the phrases, it’s a signal that you’ve listened nicely. Moreover this psychological benefit, there’s additionally a cognitive benefit: your participant can focus higher. He is not going to be distracted by new ideas. 

An instance:

The opposite: ‘I’m afraid to face up for myself’.

Non-chameleon query: What’s the reason behind this worry? 

Chameleon query: Why are you afraid?

5. Ask open questions

Usually ‘open questions’ are understood as inquiries to which you’ll be able to reply something whereas with closed questions, you’re restricted to a restricted quantity of prospects like sure, no, possibly, I don’t know. That is so in a questionnaire. It’s a extra formal distinction. It doesn’t speak concerning the character of a query.

I see subsequently an open query as a query the place the opposite particular person feels free to reply something. A closed query is a query the place the opposite particular person feels pushed in a sure route. An open query is for example: ‘What do you consider this coaching?’ The closed variant is: ‘The coaching is boring, isn’t it?’ A query like: ‘Is there life after demise?’ would ‘grammatically’ be thought of as a closed one as a result of there are a restricted quantity of attainable solutions like ‘sure’, ‘no’ or ‘possibly’. I see it as an open one since you are free to reply no matter you need. The dialog will then go on on the premise of the arguments.

A closed query may also be referred to as a ‘suggestive’ or ‘rhetorical’ query. Right here, ‘Don’t you agree that all of us go to heaven after demise?’ is a closed query. These questions do have benefits. They allow you to win individuals over to your facet. After such a rhetorical query ‘Proper?’ you’re not alone. You’re supported. An open query is far more ‘lonely’. The possibility is about fifty per cent that you should have individuals who will reply one thing you want. However they’ll reply what they suppose and never what you need them to suppose. 

6. Present emotional consolation

Lastly, there have to be freedom for the opposite to reply your query. He is not going to really feel this freedom when you dominate the opposite or make him afraid. You make the opposite really feel comfortable by having an open, inviting perspective. The opposite must really feel that he’s an individual who’s accepted. The extra you may allow this emotional assist, the additional you may take your questioning and the extra it is possible for you to to make extra far-reaching interventions in what he says and thinks.

The ebook “The philosophical dialog. The fundamentals” reveals you get began with an important philosophical expertise. A wide range of workout routines helps you suppose extra exactly and reveals talk that to others. This ebook is your guideline to uplift the standard of reflective conversations.


To order the ebook, see https://www.amazon.com/Philosophical-Dialog-Kristof-Van-Rossem/dp/1803412712/ref=sr_1_5?crid=3PFBATPCSNZSQ&key phrases=philosophical+conversations&qid=1707765896&sprefix=philosophical+conversationspercent2Capspercent2C308&sr=8-5

Or www.thephilosophicalconversation.com


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