Dialogue for space, space for dialogue

Leszek Koczanowicz


In the past years it has become clear that liberal democracy is in crisis and that this crisis is first of all visible in the public sphere and in the public space. The new social movements in many countries have re-defined the public space introducing to it elements which have not been so far present in the public sphere, for instance, demonstrations which turned into long-lasting meetings, performances, artistic activities, and so on. Moreover, it has turned out that the crisis touched not only the liberal system of institutions but also the civil society and the party system that had been a backbone of liberal democracy. The aim of the article is thus to look at human space/city space as a machine for communication, or, strictly speaking, a machine for understanding. The article has been inspired by the views of American pragmatists, mainly John Dewey’s and George Herbert Mead’s as well as Mikhail Bakhtin’s concepts of dialogue and carnival. I think that taking such a standpoint would lead to better understanding the new social movements in city space. The four models of communication in the city space are discussed in the article. The first model is taken from the philosophy of American pragmatism. Its main features are: the close relationship between politics and everyday life, and the concept of democracy as a form of life of a community. The pragmatists also put stress on dialogue/communication as an activity which forms social life as well as our mind and self. The second model is Jürgen Habermas’s concept of communicative action. Habermas states that the possibility of an agreement is inscribed in the very structure of language if certain conditions are fulfilled. He calls these conditions “the ideal communicative situation.” The continuators of Habermas’s theory have developed it into the idea of “deliberative democracy”, i.e., democracy which is a permanent discussion of the most important social and political issues. The third model is associated with Bakhtin’s notion of dialogue as a phenomenon which permeates all human interactions. Finally, I propose my model of communication which is based on my concept of dialogue as a vehicle of understanding rather than vehicle of agreement. Starting from the last model I discuss the question of the role of the university in the democratic society. My idea is that the humanities should give up any ambition to universality and instead they should facilitate mutual understanding. Therefore, their function has changed radically. Traditionally, they serve to maintain national or religious identity and/or promote individual perfection. Now, they should prepare people to enter a dialogical relationship with the Other.
Author Leszek Koczanowicz (Filia we Wrocławiu / Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu)
Leszek Koczanowicz,,
- Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu
Journal seriesPraxema, ISSN 2312-7899, e-ISSN 2408-9176, (N/A 20 pkt)
Issue year2020
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishdemocracy, pragmatism, dialogue, non-consensual democracy, urban democracy, liberalism
URL https://praxema.tspu.edu.ru/en/archive.html?year=2020&issue=4&article_id=7888
Languageru rosyjski
Dialogue_tekst.pdf 259.28 KB
Additional file
Dialogue_oswiadczenie_Koczanowicz.pdf 108.77 KB
Score (nominal)20
Score sourcejournalList
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