Considering the addressing modes in the explicitation interview : I, “I”, he, she, it, that : the agentivity in the center of self-reference.

Considering the addressing modes in the explicitation interview :

I, “I”, he, she, it, that : the agentivity in the center of self-reference.

By Pierre Vermersch

(english translation de : La prise en compte des modes d’adressage dans l’entretien d’explicitation : je, JE, il, elle, ça : l’agentivité au centre de l’autoréférence. http://wp.me/p4AqKY-4l

 

1/ During an explicitation interview, the initial stage of the evocation process as a condition of access to the relived remembrance is fundamental to our practice. In this framework, the interviewer is very attentive to the fact of the interviewee expresses as I, as a sign that he accesses to an embodied speech, indicating that he places from his point of view, and therefore, that he is well connected to his past experience. Another way of saying it is that we seek a sign of agentive speech, that is a speech in which the interviewee stands as agent (head, cause, source) of his actions : I do, I see, I think, I tell to myself etc …

This is a first approach to the meaning of the use of  I, based on the distinction between express one’s self as an agent or not. When the interviewee is expressing as « one », in « we » or in « you », he speaks of others or of the circumstances, he does not place as an agent rather as a witness, as a teacher who explains, and we know that in doing so, he can not have access to the remembrance of his past experience.
Yet:

2 / When we go into the world of intra psychic, that is to say, of the very detailed description of subjectivity in micro transitions proper to decision making (choice to move in one place rather than another for example), we’ll have to go more subtly and for that purpose differentiate different source of agentivity.
What I have named temporarily with the most neutral way as possible: the subpersonalities (in French, instance). Each subpersonality distinguished by the interviewee himself, is so because it is a source, a cause, a dynamic origin of agentivity. (But this does not mean that this subpersonality always works positively and propulsively, all scenarios are imaginable and we have already met: hard motionlessness, blocking, refusal force etc.)

In this second step, agentivity remains central to my argument, but it unfolds in a multiplicity of subpersonalities. These appear because there is negotiation, because several agentivity forces are perceived. A subpersonality of me wants to go on (eg, my body feels already turned, already moving toward …), another subpersonality is afraid, hesitant (« my head is wondering if that’s a good thing, and if it would’nt be better to retain the rising movement), and a third has a moderating influence and gives a subtle and positive tempo to the movement (in the example which I summarize here, the interviewee talks about his emotion which modulates movement in a gentle gradualness). All the examples I’ve experienced have resulted in the updating of a multiplicity of subpersonalities, which appear me the better as they are contrasted and impose some form or another to interior exchange (not necessarily with words).

Therefore, the addressing that allows to verbalize what is happening with each of the perceived subpersonality becomes unusual and may cause big problems of intelligibility. The most delicate example is the ambiguity of I, which we want to distinguish with a rating like « I ».

3 / From I to « I ».

In the first point of this post, I recalled the interest of seeing the appearance of the  addressing in I as a sign of the appearance of agentivity. But when agentivity is distributed across multiple subpersonalities, the I becomes insufficient. In the speech of interviewees appears the need to say that this is « he » that gives the impulse, and even sometimes the need is necessary to say that « that” (or “it)” is going on (we downright lost the personalizing dimension of he or she). But hear that it’s a way of saying that it is not I who is the cause.

When there are several sources of agentivity, several subpersonalities, the I loses its meaning, it is too comprehensive, it does not lend itself to differentiation.

In fact, this is to realize that the habitual I, if it is important to identify as a proof of agentivity in contrast with its overall absence, this I is only the convenient notation, usual of the inter-experiential consistency. I borrow this vocabulary to an Austrian author (W. Fasching, The mineness of experience.). I do not use the term « identity » or « me, » but the idea that all my experiences are assembled for me by continuity, whatever the transformations my body over the ages, my thoughts to my roles etc. The I refers agentivity rightly, but overall, undifferentiated, we need more information when we get into the detailed description of the intrapsychic.

In this case, the act of writing  « I » refers to one of the subpersonalities among others, usualy the most familiar subpersonality, the one from which my decisions and movement seem to originate most frequently. This does not prejudge, in general, that “I” is the head, the rationality or the thought ; the individual differences are large enough so that “I” could be  the body or a part of it, the emotion, the heart , or any subjective designation appropriate for each one.

The important point I want to emphasize is that noting I or “I” is not opposed to the usual notation I, otherwise it is in a different perspective: as soon as I’m using “I”, it is that the description takes into account the multi agentivity of the different subpersonalities. But then …

4 / Then, I must become vigilant in a new way to the use what the interviewee makes of the … I. Because in the description of intimate discussions, in the description of the powers of agentivity at a decision, it becomes important to check that the spontaneous I, does not mix with “I”, the subpersonality which is one of the domestic protagonists.

We must learn to say “I” is undecided (as one would say x is undecided), and not  I am undecided. The first refers to one of the subpersonalities, the second approriates all of the agentivity and we lose the subjective distinctions.
It’s difficult ! There is a training to undertake in order to stop assuming globally all the agentivity, and to speak whith « He » does not know yet; or « that » leads him to this place: in order to carefully respect the description of the different self subpersonalities.

5 / Finally, what fills this post and obtrudes since the 2015 Summer University  is the concept of agentivity. It becomes the mover of the discrimination between I and “I”, and further, it allows to take into account the different inner sources of agentivity in the making of a decision, in an intimate discussion.

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Considering the addressing modes in the explicitation interview :

I, “I”, he, she, it, that : the agentivity in the center of self-reference.

By Pierre Vermersch

(english translation de : La prise en compte des modes d’adressage dans l’entretien d’explicitation : je, JE, il, elle, ça : l’agentivité au centre de l’autoréférence. http://wp.me/p4AqKY-4l

 

1/ During an explicitation interview, the initial stage of the evocation process as a condition of access to the relived remembrance is fundamental to our practice. In this framework, the interviewer is very attentive to the fact of the interviewee expresses as I, as a sign that he accesses to an embodied speech, indicating that he places from his point of view, and therefore, that he is well connected to his past experience. Another way of saying it is that we seek a sign of agentive speech, that is a speech in which the interviewee stands as agent (head, cause, source) of his actions : I do, I see, I think, I tell to myself etc …

This is a first approach to the meaning of the use of  I, based on the distinction between express one’s self as an agent or not. When the interviewee is expressing as « one », in « we » or in « you », he speaks of others or of the circumstances, he does not place as an agent rather as a witness, as a teacher who explains, and we know that in doing so, he can not have access to the remembrance of his past experience.
Yet:

2 / When we go into the world of intra psychic, that is to say, of the very detailed description of subjectivity in micro transitions proper to decision making (choice to move in one place rather than another for example), we’ll have to go more subtly and for that purpose differentiate different source of agentivity.
What I have named temporarily with the most neutral way as possible: the subpersonalities (in French, instance). Each subpersonality distinguished by the interviewee himself, is so because it is a source, a cause, a dynamic origin of agentivity. (But this does not mean that this subpersonality always works positively and propulsively, all scenarios are imaginable and we have already met: hard motionlessness, blocking, refusal force etc.)

In this second step, agentivity remains central to my argument, but it unfolds in a multiplicity of subpersonalities. These appear because there is negotiation, because several agentivity forces are perceived. A subpersonality of me wants to go on (eg, my body feels already turned, already moving toward …), another subpersonality is afraid, hesitant (« my head is wondering if that’s a good thing, and if it would’nt be better to retain the rising movement), and a third has a moderating influence and gives a subtle and positive tempo to the movement (in the example which I summarize here, the interviewee talks about his emotion which modulates movement in a gentle gradualness). All the examples I’ve experienced have resulted in the updating of a multiplicity of subpersonalities, which appear me the better as they are contrasted and impose some form or another to interior exchange (not necessarily with words).

Therefore, the addressing that allows to verbalize what is happening with each of the perceived subpersonality becomes unusual and may cause big problems of intelligibility. The most delicate example is the ambiguity of I, which we want to distinguish with a rating like « I ».

3 / From I to « I ».

In the first point of this post, I recalled the interest of seeing the appearance of the  addressing in I as a sign of the appearance of agentivity. But when agentivity is distributed across multiple subpersonalities, the I becomes insufficient. In the speech of interviewees appears the need to say that this is « he » that gives the impulse, and even sometimes the need is necessary to say that « that” (or “it)” is going on (we downright lost the personalizing dimension of he or she). But hear that it’s a way of saying that it is not I who is the cause.

When there are several sources of agentivity, several subpersonalities, the I loses its meaning, it is too comprehensive, it does not lend itself to differentiation.

In fact, this is to realize that the habitual I, if it is important to identify as a proof of agentivity in contrast with its overall absence, this I is only the convenient notation, usual of the inter-experiential consistency. I borrow this vocabulary to an Austrian author (W. Fasching, The mineness of experience.). I do not use the term « identity » or « me, » but the idea that all my experiences are assembled for me by continuity, whatever the transformations my body over the ages, my thoughts to my roles etc. The I refers agentivity rightly, but overall, undifferentiated, we need more information when we get into the detailed description of the intrapsychic.

In this case, the act of writing  « I » refers to one of the subpersonalities among others, usualy the most familiar subpersonality, the one from which my decisions and movement seem to originate most frequently. This does not prejudge, in general, that “I” is the head, the rationality or the thought ; the individual differences are large enough so that “I” could be  the body or a part of it, the emotion, the heart , or any subjective designation appropriate for each one.

The important point I want to emphasize is that noting I or “I” is not opposed to the usual notation I, otherwise it is in a different perspective: as soon as I’m using “I”, it is that the description takes into account the multi agentivity of the different subpersonalities. But then …

4 / Then, I must become vigilant in a new way to the use what the interviewee makes of the … I. Because in the description of intimate discussions, in the description of the powers of agentivity at a decision, it becomes important to check that the spontaneous I, does not mix with “I”, the subpersonality which is one of the domestic protagonists.

We must learn to say “I” is undecided (as one would say x is undecided), and not  I am undecided. The first refers to one of the subpersonalities, the second approriates all of the agentivity and we lose the subjective distinctions.
It’s difficult ! There is a training to undertake in order to stop assuming globally all the agentivity, and to speak whith « He » does not know yet; or « that » leads him to this place: in order to carefully respect the description of the different self subpersonalities.

5 / Finally, what fills this post and obtrudes since the 2015 Summer University  is the concept of agentivity. It becomes the mover of the discrimination between I and “I”, and further, it allows to take into account the different inner sources of agentivity in the making of a decision, in an intimate discussion.

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