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Conscience calls us to fulfill our potentiality for authenticity. 5 Socratic dialogues provided inspiration for the discourse ethics associated with Apel and Habermas. Following Peirce, they advocate an ideal, unrestricted-communication community that presupposes openness, sincerity, and noncoerciveness, to facilitate understanding. The discourse in an ideal speech situation is open to all subjects; everyone is allowed to question any assertion; everyone is allowed to introduce any new assertion into the conversation; everyone is allowed to express attitudes, desires, and needs; and no internal or external coercion is allowed.

This is the realm in which we live primarily; it is the realm of meaning. According to Heidegger, in this realm of meaning our world is one of tools (Zeuge) which point to themselves and to our possibilities of work and creativity” (MHE, 276–77). 28 protecting the human Persons engaged in this movement are reduced to the average anonymity of the social roles they play in pursuit of survival. The content of roles changes from one historical period to another, but always, reduced to their roles, people are less than complete selves.

Care for the soul is deployed through a questioning thought. It is itself in the form of a dialogue . . in which usually there are two participants, but it can also take place within the soul, between me and myself. (PE, 96, 101–3) The discovery of the pure, eternal, and total truth is, according to Patočka, achieved by the Socratic method, by the dialectic of dialogue, internal or interpersonal (PE, 96, 101–3). Life in truth is attained in two stages, discernible in the Platonic dialogues. The first stage is a skeptical analysis, rejecting false assertions and contradictory arguments.

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