November 28, 2004

the Discourse of Dialogue in Islam

Iranian Journal of Sociology, (Iranian Sociological Association)Vol. 5, No. 1, spring 2004

Dialogue and Discourse in Islam


This paper mainly aims at distinguishing "discourse" from "dialogue". Dialogue has a dichotic aspect while discourse is of paradigmatic features and represents the pattern and the logic behind the dialogue. Discourse does not just deal with the syntactic and lexical elements composing the sentences of a text. It goes much beyond this and covers the external elements outside the text such as the situational. Cultural and social contexts and will thus turn to a subject of sociology. Thispaper, having examined the two terms distinctively, presents 16 key indices (12 direct and 4 indirect indices) for dialogue and discourse. The direct indices enumerated in this paper are relativism, perfectionism versus considering oneself perfect, equality of status, enjoying equal security, equality of sects or lack of segregation, qualification of the exchange, comprechensibility, prejudgment. Criticizing the speech rather than the speaker, documentedness of speech, reasonability, and ethicality. Besides, rationalism, humanism or human reverence, human rights, and democracy are the indirect indices introduced for discourse and dialogue in this paper. In spite of the fact that there may seem to be some similarities and overlap among some of these indices, one can still find some delicate differences between them.
Key words: discourse, dialogue, publicsphere, direct indices, indirect indices, relativism, self-plausibility, rationality and reasoning.

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