Re: Using Silence in Meetings LO2825

Bernard Girard (
Fri, 15 Sep 1995 09:11:51 +0000

Replying to LO2804 --

Two stories on silence.

- In the sixties (66 or 67), I studied philosophy at Nanterre University
(the one that started mai 68 in France).We had a frofessor of sociology
(quite famous at that time in the acadmeic world for his radical writings)
who, from the beginning of the term to the end, did not say a word. He
just kept silent. It was very disturbing, really. It showed us (and that
was, I believe, his aim) that the professor in a class is the one that
makes all the talking (that was the case in the french university of that
time). If no one talks, then all the system of the classroom with the
distribution of power between the teacher and the students falls apart.
The same professor refused to give marks during the oral exams we had to
take with him : he just said : "in your opinion, what mark do you
deserve?" It was very disturbing even for the young trostkits, maoists or
even anarchists we were then.

- a man goes to his psychoanalyst, he talks, talks. The analyst does not
answer, but the man keeps on talking. At the end, he raises, looks at the
analyst to say good-bye. He discovers his analyst has been dead for quite
a time.

The first story is true, the second is probably a joke (I am not sure
where I got it from).

Bernard Girard