ABOUT THIS WEBSITE

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
Is a Global Ethical System Possible?
Ali-Reza Omidvar & James Soderholm
Is it possible for any country or culture to claim moral high ground or are we now forever swamped by cultural relativism and the idea that there is no master narrative or moral position that is not compromised in some way?  Can a culture still be 'wrong' in any sense?  Is the idea of global ethical code...
On the Genealogy of Post-Truth
Josie Orr & James Soderholm
It was the autumn of 2016 when ‘Post-Truth’ was named the word of the year by Oxford English Dictionary, provoking the public to become aware of the term and apply it to real-life situations. However, why did it take until 2016 for the word to be universally recognized when some researchers have traced the concept...
The Perilous Magic of Vladimir Nabokov
Grace Clover & James Soderholm
I am often struck by how certain works of fiction create happily-manipulated readers.  We live in a time when all forms of manipulation seem to be regarded as nefarious, if not evil, and yet there may be a benevolent form of manipulation where the literary text beguiles us into complicity and we are no worse off for the coercion...
On Time
Joshua Gawley & James Soderholm
In some fragment, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus says that time is a child playing a game-- time is the child's kingdom.  I've always wondered what he meant...
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 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...
Monarchy?
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.