No, the conversation hadn't degenerated, though Denton certainly would have insisted so.
By the middle of the century, logical studies had lost to a great extent their real interest and application, and had degenerated into trivial displays of ingenuity.
It became the granary of Rome and the free population naturally degenerated and died out.
The liberty of the press not unfrequently degenerated into licence, and sane liberalism was often replaced by socialistic dreaming.
The monarchical government introduced by Deiphontes gave way to an oligarchy, and the oligarchy degenerated into a despotism.