The Self: a Processual Gestalt
W. Tschacher & O.E. Rössler
The psychological self is often treated as a mental structure which enables a person
to act individually and consciously. In our view, the self can only be kept non-paradoxical
if it is seen as a process with homeostatic attributes. We therefore discuss a self
concept derived from the theory of complex dynamical systems. The dynamical perspective
makes us lay an emphasis on the recursion implicated by the operator "self"
marking the application of cognition to cognition. We argue that from this recursive
dynamics the self arises as a processual gestalt via self-organization. We can then
link our concept of self to psychological observations which show that the self is
maintained by a rhythmical series of calibrating events (self-reflections and social
interactions). Implications for psychopathology (schizophrenia theory) and interpersonal
relationships (transference, love) are outlined.
Full text in PDF (identical with: Tschacher W, & Rössler
O (1996). The Self: a Processual Gestalt. Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, 7, 1011-1022.)