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.