The Self: a Processual Gestalt

Forschungsbericht 95-2

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.)

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