Genuine Dialogue (1954)

  • Asher D. Biemann


We must now summarize and clarify the marks of genuine dialogue. In genuine dialogue the turning [Hinwendung]1 to the partner takes place in all truth, that is, it is a turning of the being. Every speaker “means” the partner or partners to whom he turns as this personal existence. To “mean” someone in this connection is at the same time to exercise that degree of making present which is possible to the speaker at that moment. The experiencing senses and the imagining of the real [Realphantasie] that completes the findings of the senses work together to make the other present as a whole and as a unique being, as the person that he is. But the speaker does not merely perceive the one who is present to him in this way; he receives him as his partner, and that means that he confirms this other being, so far as it is for him to confirm. The true turning of his person to the other includes this confirmation, this acceptance. Of course, such a confirmation does not mean approval; but no matter in what I am against the other, by accepting him as my partner in genuine dialogue I have affirmed him as a person.

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© Asher D. Biemann 2002

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  • Asher D. Biemann

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