Virtù e vizi della mediazione tra dialogo e polemos / Dialogue and polemic: Virtues and flaws of mediation

  • Adelino Cattani
Keywords: Compromise, consensus, debate, mediation, polemic


Normally one tends to believe that mutual concessions and compromise in a civil society are not only inevitable, but also beneficial, and consequently one tends to discourage the conflict and to seek mediation. Mediation, agreement, consensus, and unanimity are good and just ideals only where they represent a genuine coming together of divergent viewpoints, a culmination of a discussion in which divergent thoughts were neither hidden nor censored. Therefore, in case of dispute and of conflict, you may seek mediation and compromise, a solution typical of the political disputes; or, you may be radical and intransigent, a typical choice in cultural disputes. The advocates of cooperative dialogue are right from the point of view of civil society, and the advocates of polemical confrontation are right from the cognitive and cultural point of view. There are therefore situations where mediation is not necessarily desirable or not surely propitious. It is good to use the force of mediation, but not to be forced to mediate.


ARIELLI, Emanuele, SCOTTO, Giovanni (2003), Conflitti e mediazione. Introduzione a una teoria generale, Bruno Mondadori, Milano.

BACKMAN, Fredrik (2014), En man som heter Ove, Adlibris 2013 (L’uomo che metteva in ordine il mondo, trad. it., Mondadori, Milano).

CATTANI, Adelino (2001), Botta e risposta. L'arte della replica, Il Mulino, Bologna.

DUNLOP, John Thomas (1984), Dispute Resolution. Negotiation and Consensus Building, Auburn House, Dover and London.

ETZIONI, Amitai (1996), The New Golden Rule, Basic Books, New York.

FIRTH, Alan (1994), The Discourse of Negotiation. Studies of Language in the Workplace, Pergamon Press, Oxford

FISHER, Roger, URY, William, PATTON, Bruce (2005), Getting to yes, Penguin Group, London 1981 (L’arte del negoziato, trad. it., Corbaccio, Milano).

GILBY, Thomas (1949), Barbara Celarent. A Description of Scholastic Dialectic, Longmans Green, Londra.

GUTMANN, Amy, THOMPSON, Dennis (2014), The Spirit of Compromise. Why governing demands it and campaigning and undermines it, Princeton University Press, Princeton.

MARTELLO, Maria (2004), La mediazione per la gestione alternativa dei conflitti e le sue applicazioni, Relazione al Convegno “Mediazione e procedimento penale”, Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura, Palazzo di Giustizia, Catania 26.11.2004.

MILL, John Stuart (1997), Saggio sulla libertà, Il Saggiatore, Milano.

MULHOLLAND, Joan (1991), The Language of Negotiation. A handbook of practical strategies for improving communication, Routledge, London and New York.

SOFRI, Adriano (2004), «Colombe pigre di mente», in Panorama, n. 45 del 4.11.2004, p. 330.

TANNEN, Deborah (1999), The Argument Culture. Stopping America’s War of Words, New York Ballantine Books, New York.

How to Cite
Cattani, A. (1) “Virtù e vizi della mediazione tra dialogo e polemos / Dialogue and polemic: Virtues and flaws of mediation”, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio, 00. Available at: (Accessed: 20May2024).