In daily life we call conversation a flow of co-ordinations of actions and emotions that we observers distinguish as taking place between human beings that interact recurrently in language, and it is to this distinction to which I shall refer with the word 'conversation' in this article. In these circumstances there are three fundamental phenomena that an observer brings forth as he or she distinguishes a conversation. Two of them take place in the domain of distinctions of the observer; these are the co-ordinations of actions that appear as co-ordinations of behaviors, and then co-ordinations of emotions that appear as co-ordinations of domains of actions. The other takes place in the domain of the structural changes of the conversing human beings, whose continuously changing bodyhoods change congruently in a co-ontogeny that lasts as long as the conversation lasts. Let me make a few comments about this.
1) Conversations as operations in language are operations in domains of consensuality that may become expanded, restricted or disappear with or without the appearance of new ones. This is apparent in our daily life as we experience an increase, a diminution or a change in our intimacy with those with whom we converse as something that occurs while the conversation takes place. In every case, however, the bodyhoods of the participants unavoidably change in a congruent manner, even when the result is separation with loss of consensuality. In other words, although the dynamics of consensuality and bodyhood change take place in different and non-intersecting phenomenal domains, they braid along a conversation as a result of their manner of constitution as biological processes. That is, the changes in the bodyhoods of the participants follow a path contingent on the co-ordinations of actions and emotions that take place along a conversation, and the co-ordinations and actions and emotions that constitute the conversation follow a path contingent on the bodyhood changes that occur in the participants along it while generating it. This is again part of our daily life experience, and we can notice it if in a conversation we attend to the dynamics of our bodyhood in relation to our flow in it.
2) There are several classes of conversations that an observer can distinguish in the domain of human relations and interactions. These differ in the kinds of co-ordinations of actions and emotions involved, and each class of conversation is defined by a particular pattern or configuration of co-ordination of actions and emotional flow. Furthermore, all classes of conversations can take place in many different domains of actions and in many different emotional contexts, regardless of the operational domain, or domain of reality, in which the actions take place. Finally, every human being usually participates in many different conversations, simultaneously or successively, that intersect each other through their realisation in his or her bodyhood. Indeed, we human beings live in communities that exist as networks of crisscrossing non-intersecting conversations of different kinds that couple with each other in their flow through their intersections in our bodyhoods. Let me mention some of them:
a) Conversations or co-ordinations of present and future actions. The conversations consist in the actual co-ordinations of actions that occur while languaging in a particular domain, and that the observer sees as taking place in an emotional flow in which the participants only listen for co-ordinations of actions. Two examples: "If you set the table, I'll prepare dinner/I shall do that with pleasure." "Do you know how to calculate the length of the diagonal of a rectangle? Yes, you must use Pythagoras' theorem./Ah! Of course! Many thanks."
b) Conversations of complaint and apology for unkept agreements. These conversations consist in a flow of co-ordinations of behaviour that an observer sees as taking place under the emotions of righteousness and guilt in an interplay of demands, promises and expressions in which complaints and apologies are lived as legitimate actions even when the apologies are not accepted. Two examples: "Why did you say that you would come if you were not coming?/Oh! At the time I said I was coming I was sure that I could. It was only afterwards that I discovered that my mother was ill and that I would rather stay with her./I did not know that. Well, do not worry, we shall arrange another meeting." "I am ready now. Are you ready?/I am sorry, I cannot do it now./But you promised..../Yes, but my mother is calling me. Can you wait until I come back?"
c) Conversations of desires and expectations. These conversations consist in co-ordinations of actions that the observer sees as taking place in a domain of discourse while each one of the participants has his or her attention in his or her description of a future, and not in the actions through which he or she is constituted as a human being in the present. Two examples: "After the presidential election, I shall be able to push my programme of reforestation./That will be the case if your candidate wins. I think however that she will not./I am sure that she will win; she has the support of the working people." "Eat your food and you will grow as big as your uncle./I do not want to eat. I do not want to be like my uncle because he is very old."
d) Conversations of command and obedience. These conversations consist in co-ordinations of actions that an observer sees as taking place in an emotional background of mutual-and-self -negation in which some of the participants obey, that is, do under the request of others what they do not want to do, and others command, that is, accept a condition of superiority and feel confirmed in it when their commands are carried out. Those who obey negate themselves by doing what they do not want to do, and negate the one who commands by ascribing to him or her, as a property, a condition of superiority that is constituted as a relation of order by their obedience. He or she who commands negates those who obey by accepting their self-negation as legitimate, and negates him or herself by accepting as valid his or her characterisation as superior by those who obey. Two examples: "John, come and solve this problem on the blackboard./But I haven't finished the exercise in my copybook yet./It does not matter. I am asking you to come to the blackboard./Grrr...(John comes)" "You will have to go to Valparaiso./Now? I have some friends coming to dinner tonight at home./I am sorry, but I need you to go to Valparaiso today and stay there until tomorrow./Okay....you're the boss."
e) Conversations of characterisations, attributions and valuing. These conversations consist in co-ordinations of actions in a domain of discourse, descriptions and opinions that the observer sees as taking place in a braided emotioning of acceptance and rejection, pleasure and frustration, according to whether the participants who listen perceive that they are properly seen or not by the participants who speak. Three examples: "Here you are! I thought of you as a person who always arrived on time./What? Do you mean that I am unpunctual? This is the first time that I have been late." "I shall not look into your computations. You are so intelligent that you are always right./But sometimes I commit mistakes..../I have never found one./It is nice to hear that." "Look at your shirt. It is dirty./But mother, you know I was playing.../Oh! Come! You are sloppy. You are always dirty."
f) Conversations of complaint for unfulfilled expectations. These are conversations that consist in co-ordinations of actions in a domain of descriptions that the observer sees as taking place in an emotional background of frustration in which the speaker perceives the listener as dishonestly not fulfilling a promise, and the listener perceives him or herself accused of not fulfilling a promise that he or she did not make. Two examples: "You are late again and the food is over-cooked./But you know that at this time of the year I cannot arrive earlier!" "I had so much hope in the work of this committee./Well...but you knew that I did not have enough experience in the subject to chair it./Yes, but I could have helped you if you had had confidence in me."
There are still other kinds of conversations that could be added to this list, but I shall stop here. Yet, what I want to emphasise now is that as we human beings participate in many different conversations simultaneously or in succession, our actual community coexistence courses as the changing front of a network of conversations in which different crisscrossing co-ordinations of present and future actions braid with different consensual emotional flows. Indeed, the different systems of coexistence, or kinds of human communities that we integrate, differ in the networks of conversations (consensual co-ordinations of actions and emotions) that constitute them, and therefore in the domains of reality in which they take place. Whichever the case, however, as our present as human beings is always a node in a network of conversations, we frequently find ourselves in situations that we live as emotional contradictions because they arise as the intersection in our bodyhoods as the realisation of conversations that take place in contradictory domains of actions. When this situation becomes recurrent, suffering takes place.