Just like it sounds...
Reason: To use the facutly of reason so as to arrive at conclusions
Dialogue: a) Conversation between two or more persons; b) An exchange of ideas and opinions; c) a discussion between representatives of parties to a conflict that is aimed at resolution
- Dialogue is collaborative: two or more sides work together toward
- Debate is oppositional: two sides oppose each other and attempt
to prove each other wrong.
- In dialogue, finding common ground is the goal.
- In debate, winning is the goal.
- In dialogue, one listens to the other side(s) in order to understand, find
meaning and find agreement.
- In debate, one listens to the other side in order to find flaws and to
counter its arguments.
- Dialogue enlarges and possibly changes a participants point of view.
- Debate affirms a participant's own point of view.
- Dialogue reveals assumptions for re-evaluation.
- Debate defends assumptions as truth.
- Dialogue causes introspection on one’s own position.
- Debate causes critique of the other position.
- Dialogue opens the possibility of reaching a better solution than any of the
- Debate defends one's own positions as the best solution and
excludes other solutions.
- Dialogue creates an open-minded attitude: an openness to being wrong
and an openness to change.
- Debate creates a close-minded attitude, a determination to be right.
- In dialogue, one submits one’s best thinking, knowing that other people's
reflections will help improve it rather than destroy it.
- In debate, one submits one's best thinking and defends it against
challenge to show that it is right.
- Dialogue calls for temporarily suspending one's beliefs.
- Debate calls for investing wholeheartedly in one's beliefs.
- In dialogue, one searches for basic agreements.
- In debate, one searches for glaring differences.
- In dialogue one searches for strengths in the other positions.
- In debate one searches for flaws and weaknesses in the other
- Dialogue involves a real concern for the other person and seeks to not
alienate or offend.
- Debate involves a countering of the other position without focusing
on feelings or relationship and often belittles or deprecates the
- Dialogue assumes that many people have pieces of the answer and that
together they can put them into a workable solution.
- Debate assumes that there is a right answer and that someone has
- Dialogue remains open-ended.
- Debate implies a conclusion.
Adapted from a paper prepared by Shelley Berman, which was based on
discussions of the Dialogue Group of the Boston Chapter of Educators for
Social Responsibility (ESR).
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.