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The dialogue in foresight

Serbulescu, Radu (2012): The dialogue in foresight.

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Contemporary literature on dialogue focuses particularly on Bohmian dialogue. One argument may be the ability of this dialogue theory to match with modern communication tools, especially through Internet. Also, the major theme of Bohm theory, the open dialogue, has been developed technologically as an “open space” where all dialogues, whatever aims or subject, may possible. This paper states that the dialogue processes differs in nature, and one particular process do not result from an arbitrary option. The foresight, for instance, does not consist in a dialogue related to one specific topic, whatever complex and extended might be. The dialogue, in this case, may be seen as a support action for the foresight activity, or as a resource which may offer solutions for sustaining it. This is a ‘dialogue in’ for the foresight, and the discussions may focus on various related themes: sustainability, science-society dialogue, environmental policy etc. The purpose of this dialogue is to reveal new meanings for ‘foresight’, as a second-order significant. Certainly, words like future, vision, forecast etc. may not be mentioned, but any loss in meaning: in fact, there is a third-order of signification for these words. Dialogue might be also considered as an activity itself, even in relation with foresight. This is a ‘dialogue about’ the subject, which is concerned on a denotative meaning of the word: the dialogue will emphasize the connotations of the related words like future, vision, forecast etc. and the purpose is to negotiate a common meaning for the subject-word, foresight. When a dialogue is an ongoing process, it creates stable communication structures, or dialogical groups. It is natural to consider the emergence of one group having a certain a priori purpose, even it appears accidentally. The word ‘purpose’ might refers to debate a subject, to reach an agreement or to explore the significations of one term. It is also natural to examine how adequate is the structure, and it might be expressed in two ways: how large should be the group, and how many time is necessary to reach the purposed objective. Starting and sustaining dialogical structures depends strongly on nature of the activity to be supported by the dialogue, available resources and objectives. Foresight dialogue is, in fact, a “mix of dialogues” which proves the homogeneity of the field.

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