Re: Fruits of Learning LO2159

brad barbeau (
Wed, 19 Jul 1995 14:20:22 -0500

Replying to LO1612 --

>What I mean by an "authentic question" is one in which the asker is
>committed to learning, to discovering an answer, to being a part of
>the kind of dialogue - including experiment, observation and
>measurement - that it would take. A question that is looking for the
>answer as "inescapable proof without requirement to provide effort"
>is the result and what I call inauthentic.

Nicely put - you have articulated a distinction that I find very helpful.


>To respond to the last question raised, "How do we know (that they
>are committed)?" I have a very direct response. Commitment is a
>speech act... The heart of the matter
>isn't the statement of commitment. Its what we do with the following
>actions and speaking. Its how the community treats such speech acts.

I do not buy the notion - which I am quite familiar with - that commitment
is a "speech act." Flores and others have, IMHO, reified language beyond
what it is. Commitment is an organismic act, and a as a speech act it can
certainly be "inauthentic." Putting it into a social context - "how the
community treats such speech acts" - _may_ lead individuals to make their
speech acts consistent with their "true" intentions (wahtever that means),
but maybe not. I believe that we must be aware of the difficulties in
treating the speech act as the person--as if the cover is the book.

Brad Barbeau  (312)702-7560
Center for Leadership Exploration and Development
University of Chicago Graduate School of Business
1101 E. 58th Street
Chicago, IL  60615

"Being on the tightrope is living; everything else is waiting." -Karl Wallenda