Volume 3   Number 1      Fall 2008

The Relevance of Secondness to the Psychological Study of the Dialogical Self
Mariela Michel
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Fernando Andacht
University of Ottawa, Canada
William B. Gomes
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
pp. 301-334   (pdf)
ABSTRACT.  The semiotic self has been defined as a continuous process of meaning generation whereby multiple particular identities are integrated through an internal dialogue which evolves along time. Thought is construed as an internal conversation of the self of the present which stands for the self of the past to address the self of a future moment, in a similar way as it addresses others. We present an exploratory qualitative research aimed at observing an enactment of the internal conversation of ten participants at a workshop of psychodrama. The procedure is based on the empty chair technique created by J. L. Moreno. Participants were placed in a situation of strong personal doubt in order to stimulate reflective thought. The analysis focuses on the interaction of different inner voices, and it applies Peirce’s phenomenological categories. The consciousness of a resistance (the category of Secondness) constitutes the self and is logically related to the emergence of distinct multiple identities. As a conclusion, we argue that the capacity to tolerate self-contradiction fosters the semiotic development of the self as an interpretive agency.

Keywords:  meaning, internal-dialogue, self-contradiction, self semiotic, self dialogical