The Generous Listener

Constructivist Foundations 6 (2):190-192 (2011)
Context: Conversation theory and second order cybernetics both imply that conversation does not entail a transfer of meaning, but a construction of meaning by both of the conversation partners. Problem: This evokes the question of the conditions that may support or enable this construction of understanding. Method: Through recounting a conversation with Ernst von Glasersfeld I identify generosity and flexibility as a basic condition and format of conversational exchanges. I employ linguistic communication across language barriers as well as making music together as illustrative examples. Results: Generosity seems a key ingredient for enabling conversations as well as a personal skill or talent. Bridging the gaps in communication that result from differences in personal experiential worlds is only possible through goodwill enacted in the listener’s direction of his own imagination. This paper extends and connects radical constructivist notions of constraints and experience, as introduced by von Glasersfeld, with Glanville’s description of the role of generosity in conversation and Wittgenstein’s notion of the “Vorstellungsklavier.” Implications: Generosity can be characterized as the ability to move from communicating to appreciating and accommodating the other in conversations. The implications I draw are limited to the scope of my personal reflections and experiences
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,803
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Engagement Beyond Interruption: A Performative Perspective on Listening and Ethics.Chris McRae & Keith Nainby - 2015 - Educational Studies: Journal of the American Educational Studies Association 51 (2):168-184.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Remembering Ernst von Glasersfeld.H. Gash - 2011 - Constructivist Foundations 6 (2):168-171.
Notes Toward a Formal Conversation Theory.Gary James Jason - 1980 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 10:119-139.
Ernst von Glasersfeld and Psychotherapeutic Change.J. Raskin - 2011 - Constructivist Foundations 6 (2):235-238.
Liberating Conversations.X. Y. Dávila - 2011 - Constructivist Foundations 6 (3):381-387.
Quantity, Volubility, and Some Varieties of Discourse.Mitchell S. Green - 1995 - Linguistics and Philosophy 18 (1):83 - 112.
Conversation as Moral Education.Nel Noddings - 1994 - Journal of Moral Education 23 (2):107-118.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
14 ( #345,008 of 2,202,720 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #301,061 of 2,202,720 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature