About 2400 years ago Plato internalised the debating voices he heard around him in Athens and invented the philosophical dialogue. We grateful heirs to his dialectical way of thinking have turned those voices inside out. An increasingly plausible Socrates, Dr. Soderholm has been at the centre of this emerging web of intellectual activity and has engaged several current and former students in dialogue as he attempts to play the ancient roles of midwife, gadfly, and torpedo fish.

Dialogic Imaginations is a work-in-progress guided by the spirit of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”

If you have any comments or questions about the dialogues, please write to: jpsoderholm@gmail.com.

New & Featured Dialogues
The Splash
Ken Moffat & James Soderholm
There’s a painting and a line of poetry about it that agitate me and I wonder if they ruffle your kilt as well. W. H. Auden unfurls a well-known poem about this painting (ekphrasis) that includes the lines...
Why and How?
Rose Pettengell & James Soderholm
That last swipe at ‘the Englishman’ seems to intended for Jeremy Bentham and his ‘hedonistic calculus,’ which Nietzsche clearly thought was an absurd way to think about both ethics and pleasure. But there’s plenty to chew and digest before that remark...
Rose Pettengell & James Soderholm
The monarchy is an institution that has been a part of England for hundreds of years; it is ingrained in our culture and only for a brief period of eleven years was England a Republic. I think that there were a number of factors which led to the Restoration but I believe that the consciousness of the people was not ready for such a change. Are the people of Britain ready now and do they want to be?...
The Village Almost Without Greed
Lily Begg & James Soderholm
I understand that you have read my dialogue with Drishti Rai (“The Village Without Greed”) and I am wondering how your present circumstances contribute to a discussion of what I shall politely called the depredations of capitalism.
Free Speech But At What Cost?
Daniel Appiah & James Soderholm
I just heard a lecture by Professor Amy Wax, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the US, who was roundly criticized by many of her colleagues for publishing an opinion/editorial piece about the cultural and ethical superiority of bourgeois values of the 1950s.
Quantum Hamlet
Thomas Newton & James Soderholm
It occurs to me that Hamlet’s real question is not so much ‘To be or not to be’ as ‘To be and not to be’. The difficulty for him is not whether ‘to act’ (and kill Claudius) or ‘not to act’ (and remain passive, if not cowardly), but rather the frustrating co-existence of these two states—or possibilities—in his mind.
If the Sun Breed Maggots in a Living Dialogue
Kyle Blaus-Plissner & James Soderholm
I have always wondered why Shakespeare’s longest and most difficult play has also been his most popular. Apparently, Hamlet is ‘on the boards’ every single night somewhere on the planet.
The Ouroboros of Hamlet
M.E. Rolle & James Soderholm
I have always wondered why Shakespeare’s longest and most difficult play has also been his most popular. Apparently, Hamlet is ‘on the boards’ every single night somewhere on the planet.
Bosola's Voyage
Rose Pettengell & James Soderholm
Why is The Tragedy of the Duchess of Malfi not entitled The Tragedy of Bosola or simply Bosola? He is one of the most insightful characters on stage and up there with Hamlet. Why did Webster deny this fascinating character full recognition?
The Gravity of Scientific Language
Cal Hewitt & James Soderholm
Historically, a lot of science was done in dead languages, especially Latin, and it often worked very well: Newton's Principia is remembered as a great work of literature as well as for the great insights that it contains...
Is Religion Necessary?
Adam Nell-Millard & James Soderholm
Religious faith surely arose from some innate desire for meaning, formed in an attempt to explain the presence of human life and consciousness. What, however, if science had already offered an explanation? Would humanity simply have accepted their position as purposeless cellular masses, or would the unanswerable questions...
Does 'Aesthetics' Make Any Sense?
Melissa Orr & James Soderholm
In 1914, Clive Bell published a book entitled Art in which he describes his theory of ‘Significant Form’. He states that within a piece of art there should be ‘lines and colours combined in a particular way, certain forms and relations of forms...
Dialogue on Death
Adam Nell-Millard & James Soderholm
Fear of dying is perhaps the most defining feature of the human psyche; humanity is seemingly in equal parts fascinated and terrified by the notion of death. This fascination, I would propose, is natural and somewhat unavoidable...
The Village Without Greed
Drishti Rai & James Soderholm
We have been discussing the problem of greed and the way a certain unregenerate rapacity has been underneath most of human history.  One day I sketched for you a tiny farm that I imagine existed roughly 30,000 years ago somewhere between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers...
A Trialogue on Nietzsche
Moses May Hobbs, Bruno Lindan & James Soderholm
We have been discussing the Eternal Return and amor fati and how Nietzsche uses these ideas. And then Camus’s Sisyphus entered the picture. Camus’s famous last words—‘One must imagine Sisyphus happy’—have been annoying me for a long time...