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, once again, where agora meets academia. An increasingly plausible Socrates, Dr. Soderholm has been at the centre of this emerging web of intellectual activity and has engaged several students in dialogue as he attempts to play the ancient roles of midwife, gadfly, and torpedo fish. It is a tribute to the Langton, Canterbury, that many of its students have risen to the occasion to play the venerable, old language game that sparked Western philosophy to life. All the dialogues both transcend the national curriculum and represent a critique of its narrowing, unimaginative routines.

I would remind the gentle reader that most of the students were 17 years old when the dialogues were written. That in itself is cause for celebration.

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

If you are interested in writing a dialogue with Dr. Soderholm or Langton students (from both the boys’ and the girls’ school), please contact jsoderholm@thelangton.kent.sch.uk.

New & Featured Dialogues
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...
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...
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...
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...
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?