Well, I’m thinking something a little differently than that, although i believe I see where you’re coming from.
Think levels encapsulating levels.
The dialogue has components to it. Two opposing opinions and the dialogue between them.
There’s the subject matter.
There’s also the environment the debate is taking place in.
This environment can be: the Internet. It can be a particular period in time. The environment can be a battlefield at war or in 800 BC Constantinople between a student and teacher.
There’s other layers to consider.
Did you get enough sleep? How’s your health? Did you enter into the dialogue and suddenly realize your underpants are on backwards and you are sitting awkwardly?
What’s your emotional state like? Did you just have a fight with somebody beforehand? Do you have an appointment afterwards?
Are you human or another species?
Are you a computer, created by humans and programmed by humans to enter into the dialogue?
Did the programmer forget to eat a snack one day and change the weighings of the AI?
In short: variables.
Many many variables.
What makes you choose a particular question in a dialogue?
What makes you choose a particular answer in a dialogue?
I’m sure all of these things can be somewhat shoehorned into the dialogue, but I believe one of the flaws with it is that it assumes two equal participants.
But what two people have the same knowledge? The same background? Are in the same frame of mind? Maybe one has an air vent blowing on him and the other has a shoelace too tight and is ignoring it.
Maybe there’s war going on. Will the questions and answers be more warlike?
Is it happening at a bar and everybody’s drank, well fed yet following the rules of Socratic Dialog? Will that change the nature of their questions and answers?
What if this is peace negotiations? The same dialogue searching for Truth may in this case be repurposed as a search for communion… for points-in-common, with the absoluteness of truth a secondary concern, even if the topis are identical.
es, and they may also have views-in-common that will remain unexamined. That will become a shared bias and will color the entire debate. If the society also shares in these unexamined biases, no one will see them from within that society.
But someone outside of that society will be able to see it.
Now, I’m not arguing for cultural relativism. Rather, I’m examining the system from a broader context. This doesn’t take away from the value of Socratic dialogue but, I believe allows for its enhancement.