Knowing Someone/Conversation Topics

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Here are some suggestions for starting conversations, at various levels of intensity. Throughout conversations it is helpful to ask new and better questions.

Small Talk[edit | edit source]

Small talk is a great way to initiate and maintain casual conversations with acquaintances. Consider this list of topics that are generally safe, neutral, and can help break the ice in various social situations.

Big Talk[edit | edit source]

In contrast to small talk, "Big talk" conversations delve into deeper, more substantial topics that go beyond the surface. These discussions often involve personal beliefs, values, and experiences. Consider this list of topics that can spark meaningful and thought-provoking "big talk" conversations.

Ask better Questions[edit | edit source]

Asking better questions is a skill that can enhance communication, deepen understanding, and promote meaningful conversations. Here are suggestions for asking better questions.

General Knowledge[edit | edit source]

Choose questions from this list to test your general knowledge, and perhaps also your skill at practicing dialogue and researching reliable information.

Socratic Prompts[edit | edit source]

A Socratic dialogue reveals how different our outlooks can be on concepts we use every day. It reveals how different our philosophies are, and often how tenable—or untenable, as the case may be—a range of philosophies can be. Moreover, even the most universally recognized and used concept, when subjected to Socratic scrutiny, might reveal not only that there is not universal agreement, after all, on the meaning of any given concept, but that every single person has a somewhat different take on each and every concept under the sun.

If you would like to practice Socratic Methods, or simply have a deeper conversation, choose a question from this list to begin with, or chose any other unsettled question that you are interested in exploring.

Fairness[edit | edit source]

We naturally appeal to fairness to avoid or resolve conflict. Unfortunately, when conflict emerges it is often difficult for adversaries to agree on what is actually fair. We often hear the complaint "But that's not fair!" Surprisingly, understanding fairness is subtle and often more difficult than we might guess.

If you would like to exercise your sense of fairness, choose a topic from this list of struggles for fairness to discuss. If you get stuck, studying the Wikiversity course Understanding Fairness can help provide some guidance.

Moral Issues[edit | edit source]

Moral Reasoning is the thought process we go through to determine what we ought to do. Moral reasoning helps us decide what is right and what is wrong.

No simple rule, list of commandments, formula, or outcome seems to adequately capture the complexities of moral reasoning. None-the-less many of us form opinions, often strongly held, on a variety of moral issues.

If you would like to exercise your sense of fairness, choose a topic from this list of moral issues to discuss. If you get stuck, studying the Wikiversity course Moral Reasoning can help provide some guidance.

Writing Prompts[edit | edit source]

This list of writing prompts may help begin meaningful conversations.

Problem Topics[edit | edit source]

We all like to complain about our problems. If you can’t think of enough on your own, consider this list of problems that you may wish to discuss. If you decide you want to solve any particular problem, the Wikiversity course on Solving Problems can help provide some guidance.