The Art of ConversationBeyond small talk and silence: How to cultivate good conversation.

The Art of ConversationBeyond small talk and silence: How to cultivate good conversation.

"Proposing that conversation should be intellectual is not to demand only deep insights or high-minded discourse."

Whether great conversation traverses easy or difficult terrain, its reward is a more poignant connection with others. But to converse well is challenging. The art of conversation lacks well-defined rules, yet places high demands on our capabilities. Perhaps it is helpful to consider philosopher Michael Oakeshott’s brilliantly concise description of conversation as “unrehearsed intellectual adventure.” In these three quick words he beautifully encapsulates the spontaneity, challenge and pleasure of this quintessentially human social interplay.

To say that conversation is unrehearsed is to acknowledge that it depends on the moment. It thrives not on plans or goals but on improvisation. (Dialogue with the hope of some gain is not conversation; it is lecture, competition or interview....

ISSUE 52

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