Skip header navigation


Constitution of the Self: Intersubjectivity and Dialogicality

Markova I (2003) Constitution of the Self: Intersubjectivity and Dialogicality. Culture and Psychology, 9 (3), pp. 249-259.

The polysemic nature of intersubjectivity stems not only from diverse pursuits and goals but also from different ontologies of intersubjectivity. More specifically, the four matrices described by Coelho and Figueiredo (2003) imply two ontologies: ‘I–Other(s)’ and ‘I’ versus ‘Other(s)’. These ontologies lead to different concepts of communication. In the former case, communication is based on the idea of attunement and fusion of the minds. In the latter case, communication seems to be either determined a priori as a moral principle or managed monologically. Despite essential differences between the two ontologies, they both aim at the reduction of diverse positions of the self and other(s). It is argued that intersubjectivity that aims at fusion with the other is too narrow to account for the constitution of subjectivity. Instead, dialogicality, that is, the capacity of the human mind to conceive, create and communicate about social realities in terms of the ‘Alter’, must complement intersubjectivity in conceptualizations of subjectivity. Living in the world of others presupposes that co-authors not only attempt to reduce their differences in communication but also that they acknowledge one another as co-authors of their ideas; they dispute and fight about ideas; and they also confirm their participation in social realities.

co-authorship; dialogicality; Ego–Alter; intersubjectivity; social recognition

Culture and Psychology: Volume 9, Issue 3

Author(s)Markova, Ivana
Publication date30/09/2003
Date accepted by journal01/01/1990
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Scroll back to the top