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The Torontoic Dialogues: Neurodivergent Reflections on Ethics

Spectrum | Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research

The Torontoic Dialogues: Neurodivergent Reflections on Ethics


Jan A. Wozniak
Toronto Metropolitan University


Philosophical prose has a long-standing tradition in both Eastern and Western cultures. With the emergence of Zen and Platonic dialogues, writers throughout history have used non-fiction to portray the nuances of human experience. This approach has the capacity to bring ideas to life and facilitate new ways of thinking about the world around us. Following these traditions, this experimental piece provides an autobiographical retelling of philosophical discussions between neurodivergent students in Toronto, Canada. During their conversation, the characters spend considerable time analyzing complex social and political topics, with careful attention being given to personal responsibility and the distinction between thoughts and actions. Travelling through the busy streets of modern life, the narrator eventually has a revelatory moment with a stranger that disrupts his tendency to live inside his head and overintellectualize.
Author’s Note: This piece serves as a reminder that non-fiction writing can be used to analyze and interpret human affairs. By embracing methodological pluralism, scholars can employ writing styles and techniques that overcome the rigidity of academic writing. At times, creative and personal forms of writing are better suited for capturing ethical experiences and social life. As an interdisciplinary journal, Spectrum provides an open terrain for innovative, multidisciplinary authorship. Given this work’s critical and self-reflective goals, especially with its inclusion of phenomenology, ethics, and social philosophy, the writing provides a balance of artistry and intellectual rigour suitable for a scholarly journal such as this.