By Hilan Bensusan
Convos are central to our orientation around things through people. Yet speech is often understood in terms of (propositional) content aside from its dialogical context. It is as if what is ultimately said can be abstracted away from its coordination within a conversation. Predication - often taken to be a central (if not the only) form of propositions - is understood as around a copula that is removes both the subject term and the predicate term from any interaction of voices. In the categories of Benveniste deployed by Stéphane Mosès (commenting Paul Celan's "Entretiens dans la montagne"), the language of discourse is reduced to the language of description. If we take conversations to be irreducible, though, we approach the language of description, without me or you, from the point of view of the language of discourse as being something entirely different (like the Unheimlichkeit experienced by Celan's characters in "Entretiens dans la montagne"). Description seems very different from discourse - it is not directed to anyone, it is not said by anyone, at least in any sense that would matter. If we aim to remove this strangeness of description, we can understand language, and propositions, in terms of conversations. The predication would then not be the central tenet of content but rather something understood only from the point of view of diaphonia.
Such a conception of proposition is something I'm beginning to explore. Today I wrote a a post in No Borders Metaphysics about Celan's image of the strangeness of a language without me and you and deconstruction. Deconstruction attempts to read philosophy as if its language was not aimed at describing but rather in discoursing. Instead of truth, the central value is therefore justice - and it is ongoing as new voices always disturb previously just arrangements. The very form of a proposition is not to be established without considering the dialogical coordination that provides its content. Nothing can be captured without considering the coordination of a conversation in which it emerged.
It could seem like there is no room for truth. But here's where it could get interesting. In an older post in No Borders Metaphysics I propose that the model of conversation can be extended to any relevant interaction with anything from which we can gain information. Maybe instead of thinking in terms of a ready-made nature to be described, we can think in terms of conversational agents that tell us something within a context that provides coordination. This is why Whitehead's critique of the fallacy of capturing of finite facts (in the first lecture of Modes of Thought) is crucial for me. To capture anything is to coordinate it with all the rest. I would say: to receive something from our senses is to coordinate it with our ongoing conversations. The world has voices and any piece of information informs only to the extent it is articulated among other voices. If anything has a voice to be heard - and some could be far harder to hear - than truth itself collapses into justice. There would be no room for an ultimately descriptive language.