Agency and Consciousness in Discourse: Self-Other Dynamics as a Complex System
In the past two decades there has been considerable interest in the ways in which subjects are positioned in discursive practice. This interest has entailed a focus on the role of language and discourse in the processes in and through which subjects are constituted in discourse. However, questions of agency and how it relates to consciousness have received less attention.
This book explores the ways in which agency and consciousness are created through transactions between self and other. The book argues that it is necessary to regard body-brain interactions in the context of the social and discursive practices which act upon human bodies. These issues of agency and individuation are explored in relation to infant semiosis, as well as in relation to children's symbolic play. Thibault looks at the importance of the self-referential moral conscience in relation to the interpersonal dimension of all acts of meaning-making. This conscience is also connected to the development of a self-referential viewpoint which the book argues is connected to the ecosocial semiotic systems of thinking about consciousness as a complex system operating on many different levels.
The author discusses and evaluates the work of linguists, psychologists, biologists, semioticians, and sociologists such as Basil Bernstein, Mikhail Bakhtin, J. J. Gibson, M. A. K. Halliday, Walter Kauffman, Lakoff & Johnson, Jay Lemke, Jean Piaget and Stanley Salthe, to develop a new theory of agency and consciousness.
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action trajectory activity addressee agent attractors body-brain chapter child child’s clause closure complex congruent consciousness constitute constraints construal construed context copy book cross-coupling deﬁned deictic deixis dialogic diﬂerent discourse domain dyad dynamics ecosocial environment ecosocial semiotic egocentric speech Elena emergence entails entrained environmental events example exchange experience experiential ﬁeld ﬁgure ﬁrst ﬂows functions genre Halliday haptic here-now heteroglossia hierarchy higher-order higher-scalar iconic indexical individual individual’s infant inner integrated interaction internal interpersonal intersubjectivity intertextual language Lemke level L-1 lexicogrammatical form linguistic lower-scalar mapping material meaning meaning-making mental metafunctional modal nominal group nonself object one’s organization orientation Paola participants particular patterns perceptual perspective phase physical-material processes proposed proposition protolanguage re-envoicement reentrant reﬂection relation relationship relevant response scalar self-organizing semantic semantic space semiosis Senser sensori-motor social sound speaker speciﬁc stimulus information stratum structure supersystem system of interpretance Thibault topological visual vocal vocal tract