Contemporary challenges to dialogicality
In contrast to perspectives fragmenting individuals into elements and studying disengaged cognition, ‘neutral’ and ‘objective’ knowledge, the dialogical approach is holistic, focusing on interactions and interdependencies between the Self and Others (the Ego-Alter). It studies engaged action and experience, daily knowledge, and communication in ordinary life. Interactions involve learning about and acting upon objects. Thus from the Ego-Alter as an irreducible ethical and ontological unit we arrive at the Ego-Alter-Object as an irreducible unit of dialogical epistemology. In this article I discuss two challenges to dialogical epistemology. One concerns the different degrees of commitment within the Ego-Alter-Object relationship. The second challenge refers to the replacement of the epistemological triangle the Ego-Alter-Object of knowledge by the consumerist triangle the Ego-Alter-Thing of desire. I discuss the latter challenge with respect to contemporary bureaucratization of academic and education institutions.