The first known conversationalist was Socrates, who replaced the war of words by dialogue. Perhaps he may not have invented dialogue, which was originally from Sicily, but he introduced the idea that individuals could not be intelligent on their own.
Socrates had studied science and was left with the feeling that he would never know what to believe. His brilliant idea was that if two unsure individuals were put together, they could achieve what they could not do separately: By questioning each other and examining their prejudices, dividing each one of these into many parts, finding the flaws, never attacking or insulting, but always seeking what they could agree between them, moving in small steps from one agreement to the other, the would gradually learn what the purpose of life was.
Socrates was exceptionally ugly, but he showed how two individuals could become beautiful to each other by the way they talked.
© Michelle Sotiriou 2011