Article Title

How does “collaboration” occur at all? Remarks on epistemological issues related to understanding / working with ‘the other’.

Journal Title/Source

Dialogue and Universalism: Journal of the International Society for Universal Dialogue

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Page Numbers


DOI (if applicable)

Document Type

Journal Article


School of Education, Leadership, and Public Service


Collaboration must be based on careful representation and communication of each stakeholder’s knowledge. Using a foundational logical and epistemological point of view, we explore how such representation and communication can be accomplished. We tentatively conclude, based on careful delineation of logical technicalities necessarily involved in such representation and communication, that currently a complete representation is not possible. This inference, if correct, is discouraging. However, we suggest two actions. First, we can strive to make stakeholders more aware of the incompleteness of knowledge representations. Second, moderating one’s certainty of “Truth” should increase each stakeholder’s humility, thereby promoting the efficacy of collaborations.


Based on a 2015 conference paper for the Society of Values in Higher Education.