Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, Volume 22, number 65, agosto 1990
El trilema de Aristófanes y los presupuestos normativos del diálogo crítico
[Aristophanes' Trilemma and the Normative Assumptions of the Critical Dialogue]
Ricardo Maliandi
Universidad de Buenos Aires


It is proposed to call “critical dialogue” to a sort of discussion, whose description must be made in terms of the opposition between the speakers subjected to the opposition between the argument, which is developed in the dialogue, and to the difficulty, which is attempted to be solved by means of that argument. So the critical dialogue is characterized by a tendency to unify the argumentative instance; this gives it a reflexive mark. This mark is also showed by another peculiarity of the dialogue, it contains the necessary explanation of its own methodology and logic: the critical dialogue is, partially, a reflection about itself.

The critical dialogue excludes both the dogmatical positions and the skeptical ones, for the first ones remain submerged in monological proceedings, and the second ones have to face the trilemma: they must 1) avoid judging, or 2) commit performative self contradiction, or 3) try to make fun of the other speaker (as it is made by Aristophanes with Socrates in The Clouds). In all these cases the dialogue is interrupted.

The critical dialogue takes for granted not only the validity of the norm which claims that a consensus ought to be reached through the dialogue, but (as every factical consensus is only about some sides of a question in discussion) the validity of the norm, which claims that, in principle the dialogue must always go on.


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