Action and Agency in Dialogue
What happens when people communicate or dialogue with each other? This is the daunting question that this book proposes to address by starting from a controversial hypothesis: What if human interactants were not the only ones to be considered, paraphrasing Austin (1962), as “doing things with words”? That is, what if other “things” could also be granted the status of agents in a dialogical situation? Action and Agency in Dialogue: Passion, incarnation, and ventriloquism proposes to explore this unique hypothesis by mobilizing metaphorically the notion of ventriloquism. According to this ventriloqual perspective, interactions are never purely local, but dislocal, that is, they constantly mobilize figures (collectives, principles, values, emotions, etc.) that incarnate themselves in people’s discussions. This highly original book, which develops the analytical, practical and ethical dimensions of such a theoretical positioning, may be of interest to communication scholars, linguists, sociologists, conversation analysts, management and organizational scholars, as well as philosophers interested in language, action and ethics.