Bonnie E.

Litowitz

THE SECOND PERSON
Unlike third-person sciences, psychoanalysis is the science of the
second person. Briefly tracing the history of our focus on a second
person, this paper contrasts two different approaches-the dyadic
and the dialogic, proposing the latter as the better model for our field
and the one that marks our unique contribution to other disciplines.

’or

time now I have been preoccupied with exploring what is
J- unique about psychoanalysis in relation to other sciences. What
kind of science is psychoanalysis, what kind of knowledge do we generate, and why does our unique perspective make collaboration with
other sciences difficult (although, I believe, not impossible)? In articulating my thoughts, however, I want to avoid the usual dichotomies
of science versus art or, more commonly, natural science as opposed
to hermeneutic sciences) What can such a dichotomy mean in our interdisciplinary age of cognitive neurosciences, evolutionary psychology,
sociobiology, and, now, neuroethics (Gazzaniga 2005)?
Breaking through dichotomies is particularly appropriate for the
first Gertrude and Ernst Ticho lecture, since in their own writing
the Tichos persuasively argued against a perspective that isolated the
individual from a social group or cultural context. I am thinking here
of Ernst’s discussions in Tokyo (1972) about the effects of culture on
superego development and Gertrude’s paper, &dquo;Cultural Aspects of
Transference and Countertransference&dquo; (1971), a staple on syllabuses
for cultural anthropology courses.2 I trust that what I have to say today
about psychoanalytic science, examining as it does the individual and
the social, is in the spirit of their work.
some

The latter is
1

a legacy of Dilthey’s distinction between Naturwissenschaften
Geisteswissenschaften.
2Living and working in three different cultural contexts (Austria, Brazil,
and the United States) must have sparked the Tichos’ interest in their frequent

and

Faculty, Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis; Associate Professor, Department
of Psychiatry, Rush Medical School.
Originally presented as the Gertrude and Ernst Ticho Memorial Lecture,
Washington, DC, June 16, 2006. Submitted for publication July 2, 2006.

.

1130

What makes psychoanalysis unique is that it is not a third-person
science of unthinking objects (geology), nor is it the study of a first
person’s solitary activity (a painting or a written text). Instead it involves
two persons and what emerges from their relationship. Recent work has
modeled this interaction on a dyad, but I want to argue that a dialogic
model makes more sense. To illustrate this, I will be speaking of the
movement from a two-person approach to a second-person approach.
Hence, the title of my presentation-the second person. By person I
mean the grammatical (technically, inflectional) category that you may
recall from foreign language class: amo, amas, amat; I love, you love,
he/she/it loves; first person, second person, third person. So the second
person is the grammatical category that in English we associate with
&dquo;you&dquo;: the hearer, the one addressed. Specifically, I argue that there are
first- and third-person sciences but that what is unique about psychoanalysis is its focus on the second person.
Now, I imagine that for some readers a first association to my claim
that psychoanalysis is the science of the second person is that psychoanalysis is a two-person psychology. Since I want to differentiate a twoperson or dyadic psychological approach from a dialogic approach
of the second person, let me begin with the more familiar history of
how we came to recognize the importance of the second person and the
many ways in our history that we have tried to explain it.
PSYCHOANALYSIS AS A
TWO-PERSON PSYCHOLOGY

’:~’

time now, psychoanalytic writers, commenting on the
multiple theoretical approaches in our field, have distinguished oneperson from two-person psychological approaches. In their 1983 book,
Greenberg and Mitchell codified this distinction as one between drive
theories, on the one hand, and object relations theories, on the other.
Although the theoretical approaches they review resist a neat assignment into these two discrete categories, the authors did capture a significant historical struggle within our field. As they say, &dquo;Accounting
for the enormous clinical significance of object relations has been the
central conceptual problem within the history of psychoanalytic ideas&dquo;
(1983, p. 4). Their claim is that, for Freud, the relevance of another
For

some

topics:

culture shock and cultural stereotypes.

he first pondered the concept of transference (though the term was first used in Studies on Hysteria [Breuer and Freud 1895. third-person) methodology. not just taking place in one person’s brain (which it is) but experienced in the first-person &dquo. &dquo. His was a discovery about the nature of the data..&dquo.. Consciousness is a uniquely subjective experience. 1131 .. The inchoate nature of his early comments regarding transference suggests that Freud did not so much discover transference as transference discovered him.I feel .&dquo. &dquo. but none can doubt his original contributions to explicating conflictual motivations as generative factors in its presence.Freud subverted the Cartesian cogito&dquo..person was limited to the role played in the discharge of the drives.. third-person) observer of the clinical data.e. a streaming narrative of consciousness: &dquo.4 It was in the case of Dora that Freud (1905) began to address the connection between his data and the concept of narrative.. The first was that something exists outside the firstperson report.&dquo.J. The data the doctor asked the patient to present was a first-person report. We are all aware that psychoanalysis began as a treatment of one person.the ego is not master in its own house&dquo..The subject is split within itself&dquo. the patient..3 Very quickly Freud made two discoveries. . Freud ’ decentered the subject&dquo. 302]). In the postscript to that case.I dreamt. &dquo. Freud’s discovery of the unconscious has come down to us in mythic statements such as &dquo. the object has broken free of that implicit verb-object construction..&dquo.&dquo. and so forth. &dquo.. that theorizing has taken the direction of finding the object’s subjectivity.. in other words. &dquo.e. &dquo. In other words. Since then. originally meant &dquo.object&dquo. however. . &dquo. unconscious elements in a conscious story did not require Freud to change his scientific stance of the neutral third-person observer gathering data from a first-person report. It could be said. 4Many authors have pointed out that an awareness of the existence of unconscious ideation predates Freud.. pulling doctor/scientist Freud from his third-person position into the second person. Discovery of latent. p.I think .Like Copernicus. who tells her story.. it is all about the subject. who was seeking relief of symptoms from a doctor. an objective (i.. a fact captured in the very designation of the other as object. becoming objectified (as it were) as an entity in its own right.. if oversimply.I want .I&dquo. though glimpsed only through gaps and errors. This second Those who follow current debates in cognitive neuroscience know that 3 studying consciousness has raised the question of how to capture a uniquely firstperson experience with established objective (i. . the first-person &dquo.object of the drive.&dquo.

Consider that the existence of unconscious mentation can be.) being communicated. 216).e. Lacan abandoned the dialogic second even person when he chose abstract language structure matics of the speech event (Green 2004).Project for a Scientific Psychology&dquo. priming.5 What would a story be if not told? And when told. On the one hand. how can we 1132 demonstrate transference? What Freud glimpsed in the Dora case was that the first-person report (his data) is addressed to someone: a speaker is reporting to a listener. with current third-person methodologies involving brain lesions. it must be told by someone to someone. as addressee over the specific prag- =. the narrative report represents the repetition of an interaction with significant others from the subject’s past. It is not surprising that neoDarwinian neuroscientists such as Gerald Edelman (1992) and Antonio Damasio (1994) find themselves sympathetic to the early Freud (the Freud of the topographic model and the &dquo. . the focus can be placed on the fact that the first-person report.discovery-that we are not outside our data-was the beginning of our science. In addition to the propositional content (the &dquo. whom they cite approvingly.. the core of what makes psychoanalysis unique. and other experimental (i. However. with which we are already familiar. However. the speaker-listener relation. and the telling must take place in a specific time and place. provided that it has an auditor: this is the heart of its function in analysis" (p. validated using subliminal.what&dquo.. . We should not be surprised to find Freud commenting here both on the narrative nature of our work and on transference. space/time orientation. but also what makes interdisciplinary research difficult. hearer. with its anchoring in a specific place and time (a particular context). third-person) methods. > ’ . behavioral observation. now incorporates a second person. the other to whom the report is addressed. or neural imaging. a point Freud makes explicitly elsewhere when he notes that speech is also action (see Smith 2006b). 5 if it is met only with silence. In his desire to remain in a position of objectivity and neutrality. The discipline of narratology devotes itself to the myriad permutations of these fundamental anchoring features: speaker. is fundamental to narrative. There is no speech without a reply.. there is the act of communication itself-a performative speech act. After all. and has been.. On this view. The fact that speech is addressed to another person can lead us down two different theoretical pathways: the dyadic and the dialogic. [1895]). Freud interpreted transference in just Lacan (1966): "All speech calls for a reply.

in the present. This position maintains a focus. &dquo. (For exmight say that his technique guaranteed that he was being if he were the patient’s father.then&dquo. and vice versa. and &dquo. permeable relations there is no constant place of orientation from which persons. and an addressee. but first let me introduce an alternative: the dialogical position. (elsewhere). Klein and the British School went on to elaborate the different ways that the ego or self relates to its objects. is always considerably complex. in the room or &dquo. One can argue that the roots of object relations theories are readily detectable in Freud by the time he shifts to his second model: in how ego and superego develop through identifications with significant others. who remained loyal to Freud’s first model and viewed the ego as an illusory (i. In reciprocal. (1917).Speaker&dquo. false) adaptation to reality.you&dquo. The Lacanian goal is an acceptance of submission to the other. I will briefly review the history of this dyadic perspective. and place can with any certainty be objectively established. since the speaker is also the hearer. the activity in which they are mutually engaged.I&dquo. even when that dialogue appears to be a free-associational monologue. as I have noted.hearer&dquo. and in flux. not on the two persons of the dyad. whether &dquo. are always in reciprocal and permeable relation to one another.&dquo. such that sorting out who is speaking to whom.there&dquo. &dquo.now&dquo.&dquo. THE DYADIC SECOND PERSON In contrast to the dialogical view. and in the different ways that object loss is dealt with in &dquo. but still all about the subject. time. &dquo. more Freud addressed as the contributions in the dyad from the specific subjectivity of the analyst as the other/object have increasingly become the focus among psychoanalytic writers. toward the goal of eventual acceptance of the ambivalence inherent in dependence on someone outside ourselves. thereby enabling greater free will through sublimation of the drives. A third route was taken by Lacan. but on what they are doing. information. and &dquo. From that point forward. &dquo.) However. the dyadic perspective’s focus on the other/object is by now well established.e.here&dquo.Mourning and Melancholia&dquo.. in the past or &dquo. For their part. are in the process of telling and constructing a narrative in the form of a dialogue. A speaker. &dquo. ego psychologists in America focused on strengthening the ego by freeing its functions via interpreting character defenses and drive/defense conflicts.I.you. not as 1133 .this way: ample. confusing. are interchangeable positions in that dialogue.

until they can be ambivalently held together? Or does the other person’s actual failure to meet the infant’s needs create deficits in prescribed developmental sequences whose stages must be reengaged through the behavior of a new second person? Since we can no longer believe that the infant does not know that there is another person in his world. projection and introjection. vice versa)? Asking this question leads ultimately to framing it in developmental terms. projected and introjected from one person to the other. and &dquo.a third&dquo. p. or. How does this first-person entity deal with a second person (or. in which the &dquo. Otto Kernberg). with the object split into good and bad parts. is the object who responds to the first-person self with sufficient empathy to &dquo. and &dquo. presenting a variety of spanning processes: incorporation and internalization.6 Do we start out as a separate self and then need to form attachments. to eliminate the gap with his concept of the One could argue that our theoretical problem of what to do with the 6 been passed on to the child to solve. even a closing. 385). Kleinians tend to focus on crossing the gap. Ego psychologists write about identifications and self. Indeed. Kohut tried to minimize the gap through his focus on empathic immersion and. and one must acknowledge theorists who have attempted to bridge views (e.ins&dquo. in which intersubjectivity can be established.&dquo. for example.outs. in the case of self psychology. of course. many subtle distinctions among theorists of any group (compare.. Fairbairn. changes from beta to alpha elements. merged with the other to begin with.and other representations. discussed in a variety of ways.&dquo. Klein. projective identification can be viewed as a radical crossing.g.gap.&dquo. of the gap. recently the question has shifted to. Nevertheless. 1134 There are. can be created.another subjectivity but as an abstract Otherness represented by the symbolic order of language structure. &dquo. to speak of object relations assumes an already existing self/subject/ego about whom we may ask. object has . Relationalists tend to view the gap as a space where &dquo.second person&dquo.spaces. Still another theoretical perspective was developed in Kohut’s self psychology. do we need to separate and individuate? Does psychic reality dominate. Does he know that the other person has a mind of her own? Attempts to explain how the minds of two separate brains can affect each other have given rise to a rich topological vocabulary of &dquo. ultimately.activate&dquo. a selfobject transference (see Ornstein 1999. and Winnicott).

and I cannot help but be a participant in my patient’s effort to actualize them&dquo. 31 ).infer[s] that her arousal may be a response to her experience of my distractedness. The analyst looks to his own behavior and &dquo. Freud says that the symptom (or fantasy or transference) must come into the room.looking would be too aggressive. &dquo. CLINICAL L EXAMPLE E Smith (2006a. on the other (p. in other words.selfobject.&dquo.&dquo. Recently. it becomes clear that the sound of the analyst’s voice was the source of her excitement. which is still on my mind. falls silent. and then announces that she has become &dquo. 153).b) has recently described an exchange with a female patient who is reacting to his momentary distraction. (2006b. The patient says. Goldberg (2004) advanced Kohut’s eliminative view by discounting the premise that there is a gap to cross or span or close. Against the background of this very brief history of theoretical positions on the second person as the object in a dyad. Repeating and Working-through&dquo. (1914) between action as repetition. ~ ’ . Ultimately.&dquo.I am so good.led astray by my guilt and by my theory about her excitement. an expression of the psychical or mental sphere. not only to the propositional content of the statement. it might be helpful in understanding the contrasting dialogic approach if we look at some clinical material. Smith’s point here is to deconstruct the opposition set up by Freud . that her sexual excitement is a reaching out to someone she has just lost. Also in that 1914 article.&dquo. an elimination iconically represented by the deletion of a hyphen. p.Remembering. but to Henry 1135 . Smith’s clinical example succinctly demonstrates why this opposition between speech and action cannot hold. the analyst concludes that he has been &dquo. &dquo.the very fantasies my patient and I are analyzing are being enacted through the words we use to analyze them. on the one hand (p. if not on hers. leading the analyst to conclude: &dquo. 154). (p. &dquo. expressive of the motor sphere. Her analyst interprets to her that &dquo.aroused. who attribute different meanings. I don’t turn around and look. The clinical material illustrates that every statement is embedded in a communication between speaker and hearer. and talking as remembering. Smith’s example illustrates how it may assert itself through the very speech act of asserting. The patient says. 150).&dquo.&dquo. When this interpretation does not seem right.assert itself in a definite field&dquo.It would startle you. in &dquo. it must &dquo.

that when the symptom (fantasy. And even if it is his voice. p. &dquo.divorced from a specific saying.1136 the very act of speaking itself. but she hears other voices. inviting her into &dquo. in Bakhtin 1981. so great that you . and the interdiction not to.forbidden pleasures&dquo. (M. analysis is always carried out in some form of dialogue. transference)-embodying conflicts and defenses. we can say. 42). xxi).&dquo. a process eloquently described in Smith’s &dquo. We do not know (nor do they) whether those voices are packed into the concept of aggression . remembered. whose writings on literature-most notably on Dostoevsky-are becoming more familiar to psychoanalytic readers. even when that someone else is one’s own inner addressee&dquo. to know. is somebody talking to somebody else. "The noise that those theories make is 7 can hardly hear yourself think" (p. THE DIALOGIC SECOND PERSON The notion that speech is embodied dialogue is most closely associated with the Soviet critical theorist. as the patient claims. (p. with its sense of excess and transgression.It is not possible to analyse the analysand without being analysed oneself by the patient&dquo.~ The patient hears the same statement. 31). which is charged with particular overtones. even at the very moments they are being embodied in the external dialogue of the analysis. p. or into the thought of not looking. Bion (2005) has said. internal dialogues from the past. 296). &dquo. that conversation embodies a cacophony of voices (Breuer and Freud 1895.-that itself embodies his dialogues with esteemed teachers and admired theorists.Looking would be too aggressive. For Bakhtin. are repeated. and reworked anew in the present. needs and wishescomes into the room and joins in the conversation. there is no such thing as language &dquo. paraphrasing Freud. with its desire to see. Holquist. The analyst makes an interpretation&dquo. Mikhail Bakhtin. into the analyst’s voice. or is it just the very act of speaking by one who does not have to speak (but who does get to look)? So. So both the patient’s first-person report and the analyst’s inner thoughts are addressed. or. embodied in words and actions. or into that little adverb too. p. is it the prosodic features that imply that the statement might just be an invitation. 79).Hearing Voices: The Fate of the Analyst’s Identifications&dquo. (Smith 2006b. (2001). Language.Looking would be too aggressive&dquo. when it means. As Bion (2005) has noted.

are reciprocal. How long has this not-looking been going on? Was there a specific time that she didn’t look which. &dquo. Smith’s patient brings her fantasy into the room (into the field).I&dquo. (2) an indicator of the speaker’s state or attitude (i. which holds that every speech event consists of ( 1 ) a statement (what the speech is about).g. and (3) an appeal to the listener whom the speaker hopes to affect. (p. where it forces its way into the conversation.iron oxidizes&dquo. probably at a 1137 .speaking a language&dquo.e. keeping our third-person focus on her first-person report.&dquo. making both the content and the speech act potential topics for joint reference and predication. &dquo.Don’t you look!&dquo. So maybe she is the one who is guilty about her wish to violate the rules here.). 198).I don’t turn around and look. even when it is not being spoken at a particular moment. never been anchored in a dialogue (Litowitz 2007). p. the patient says. some form of or reaction to &dquo. philosophers of language who stressed that &dquo.Lie down.To describe language in this way is to claim that the essence of language is that it is spoken. This view has a venerable history associated with Karl Biihler’s theory of speech (1934). Instead of using the past tense for a just completed action. face away from me. remains ever presentuntil now? Since &dquo. speak but don’t look!&dquo. (Searle 1969.Where do these ideas come from when there are two people together in a room?&dquo. feelings) about that statement. is the imperative form of a command and &dquo. 32).herbivores don’t eat meat&dquo. &dquo.. A few decades later this view of speech was picked up by speech act theorists (Austin 1962.&dquo. a classic case of repression signaled by the denial of her wish to are primal scene (Freud 1925)? That is certainly one to way go.I am so good&dquo. and &dquo. Is this a parapraxis. is &dquo.I don’t look&dquo. Searle 1969). &dquo.I didn’t turn around to look.? Could that be the voice of the parent/superego or the voice of all analysts. who instruct their patients: &dquo. is &dquo. the tense one uses for factual assertions speech that timeless and true in all contexts (e.you&dquo. she uses the habitual present tense... Alternatively. He has already answered his own question: &dquo. In the clinical material.Don’t look!&dquo. when we would have expected her to say.)? Bion (2005) asks. because it was never talked about. however. &dquo. What we mean when we say that the unconscious is timeless and enduring is that it has never been spoken.performing speech acts&dquo. or is it elsewhere (&dquo. a glimpse into her unconscious. we could say that the habitual present is the hallmark of unconscious fantasy.There is something that rapidly comes to exist when there are two people in the room-one of them wanting look.commitments&dquo. and that those acts entail &dquo.

In other words.identification with the aggressor&dquo. However. (p. (p. energetic third. Locked into these two grammatical positions. 355). (passive into active).complementarity&dquo. 286). we analysts set the rules and. teachers. provocatively dragging the second person into her first-person report and making the dialogue itself the focus. On this view. and society because they are the 8Hanly (2004) has suggested that this may well indicate the need for Ockham’s an 1138 idea razor (p. one can only become the other.third&dquo. that &dquo. intentional third. some theorists believe that communicative exchanges of analytic moments such as those described above are best viewed as windows into dyadic. Can there be such a neutral mental space. if we’re lucky. (Wittgenstein 1953).&dquo. incipient third-leave one wondering about its core definition. one of whom is an agent of action (the doer) while the other is the object of that action (the done to). the proliferating modifiers of the third that appear in recent literature-nascent third. a point brought home in a recent issue of Psychoanalytic Quarterly devoted to the concept (2004. rhythmic third.language-game&dquo. the only escape from this binary opposition is. rather. 350). a space outside of or apart from the other two where a new synthesis can be co-constructed. as in &dquo. but whose manifest forms are myriad: for example. 73.hearsay&dquo. Britton cited in Aron 2006. A complementary dyadic position is a binary opposition that Benjamin (2004) has generalized as &dquo. terrorist-victim. By contrast. Freud’s object-of-the-drive has become the object-of-thesubject’s-action. the patient breaks them.we cannot be free from parents. as Delgado (1969) states. there are indications that this conception of the &dquo.change of voice&dquo. vol. moral third. symbolic third. no. For one. being repeated in the transference. Aron (2006). or &dquo.doer-done to. 1 ). In this &dquo.to be analysed and the other wanting to be an analyst. writing about analytic impasses. 21). and that those experiences consist of two persons. for example.take a step to the side within [one’s] own mind so as to create mental space&dquo. Only then can we say that we have truly learned something new. one not filled with &dquo. The assumption is that these are patterns from our earliest experiences. in the manner of Hegelian dialectics. So the germ of really belongs to both&dquo. . describes patients and analysts stuck in what Jessica Benjamin has called &dquo. for relationalists. to create a third position.g Then there is the question of whether in fact it is possible to &dquo. (R. self-with-other patterns. p. sadist-masochist. cannot adequately capture clinical experiences. (Bion 2005)? Isn’t it.

I believe that Peirce has stated a view _- . perception.dialectic&dquo. I believe that it is in recognition of this problem that Benjamin has attempted to break through the boundaries of the dyad with another ’ binary pair: the &dquo.to converse. after all. 102). disturbances of which lead to pathological forms of relatedness. (dialektos) originally meant simply &dquo. p. Benjamin’s solution is ’ to introduce different kinds of intersubjectivity that for her arise in sequence.? (p. It is. and it is through saying something-in dialogue-that the analyst. my animal life is not there. thought. WITHIN THE DIALOGUE How to account for the clinical fact that analyst and patient are caught up in self-other dyadic communicational patterns that can become rigidly fixed.g. (p. memory. do I not live in his brain as well as in my own-most literally ? True. 103). p.dialogue&dquo. As with Kohut’s selfobject. attention are&dquo.. as is more often the case with clinical material) starting from the assumption of two separate minds embodied in two separate brains of two separate persons. For where else could it be? But to the degree that the mind’s functions (e. intersubjectivity is being established from the start. closed to change and possibility? My answer would be not to create a third space or object but to reexamine the dialogic context within which these (and our earliest) exchanges take place. so that my feelings pass into him and I am conscious of what he feels. representation) consist of symbols that are shared. The pragmatist philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce best articulated this perspective when he argued against the common notion that mind &dquo. the problem is to explain intersubjectivity (or resistance to intersubjectivity. &dquo.third in the one. 129). my feeling. Perhaps we should recall that in ancient Greek the word &dquo. thought. supervisor. Once again. or &dquo.conversation&dquo.But are we shut up in a box of flesh and blood? When I communicate my thought and my sentiments to a friend with whom I am in full sympathy.extracerebral sources of our minds&dquo. or theorist attempts to open new avenues for change. see also Green 2004. 243. Peirce asks: &dquo. and stemmed from the verb dialegesthai. belonging to him and correlative to the real world&dquo.&dquo. (Colapietro 1989. through speech or its absence in the sessions that the analyst 1139 experiences the fixity of the dyadic self-with-other positions.&dquo. ‘resides’ within this person or that. It is true that each person’s mind is contained in the neuronal networks of its bodily brain.one in the third&dquo. but my soul. and the &dquo.

but &dquo. in a particular time and place. and other forms of deixis. Just as we do not recall the exact circumstances in which we acquire the skills of procedural memory.value&dquo.thirdness&dquo. we must work to reconstruct contexts (where. addressed to a particular &dquo.1140 that would be compatible with both Kohut’s concept of empathy and with what Benjamin and Aron have tried to express with the third.aggression&dquo. There is a great deal in Peirce’s philosophy that could be explored with benefit in understanding our psychoanalytic experiences (Green 2004). that world we are all bom into that precedes us and exceeds us. One might hypothesize that the human brain has a &dquo.secondness&dquo.you&dquo. Here I stress only that Peirce proposes thirdness as one aspect of ’ . For example. This may explain why references to Peirce’s work appear throughout the Psychoanalytic Quarterly issue devoted to that concept (see especially Green 2004.&dquo. But that abstract. is a general term (a symbolic third) that we all recognize. In psychoanalytic practice we try to undo the automatic. those speech events that in analysis reveal transference and countertransference relations (Crapanzano 1981). We do indeed live in a shared symbolic world. in Peircean terms it is not &dquo.secondness. and use the singular dream-image to unlock memories and meanings. These particulars localize shared concepts through indexical expressions such as personal pronouns. Hanly 2004). indexical expressions are not themselves remembered. this aggression or that aggression? The dialogic approach places the focus on the pragmatics of communication : the speaker’s intentionality. but it can have meaning only when connected to a unique context: is it your aggression or my aggression. in Smith’s clinical material described above. Although absolutely necessary in establishing personal meanings. that is critical to understanding language in use-that is. &dquo. However. tense and aspect markers (that indicate the time and duration of the action). It is indexicality that creates the singularity of enacted experience. find the idiosyncratic experience in the general. transindividual language system can be experienced by individuals only by means of specific indices that tie language to a particular context of use. when. who) in recalling episodic memories. of efficiency (Edelman 1992) that pushes what we learn toward automaticity and the generality we find in semantic memory. both the experience brought into the analytic moment and the experience of that moment. It is this shared aspect that Peirce called thirdness. Peirce called those indices &dquo.

rather. we step in or we don’t. That is. is &dquo. mindful that the analyst is the person in this dyad who.theoretically responsible for the conversation&dquo. lucid. where indices will establish a joint referent. aimed at an ideal of cooperative communication that the philosopher Paul Grice (1967) later codified in his conversational maxims: be cooperative. a perspective that cognitive neuroscientists would agree with. It is just a beginning. Given that we already inhabit a shared symbolic world. Although the form of that activity is a dialogue. casm. how mind is distributed or stretches over individuals in a community. be relevant. orderly). and usually we are doing more than one at the same time. 13).any semiotic communication to explain that part of the shared symbolic world that is embodied in each of us. rather. that is. humor. noncooperative dialogical relations of nonideal speakers and hearers? What happens when we do not leave some part of meaning 9These resources also can be played off against each other. sar- 1141 . attention. when the focus is shifted within the dyad onto the dialogue. and be perspicuous (i. outside the dyad. express an attitude. perception. be only as informative as is required. predicate something about it. Peirce describes the ideal way to use our already shared symbolic world in a continuing co-construction of meanings: I must accept that meanings are indeterminate and thereby open to completion by you. These five maxims our patients are in effect instructed to ignore or violate when they join in our language-game. and representation itself). we can do lots of things with the communicational resources at our disposal. .e. enough to get us started in the dialogue.&dquo. So thirdness is not everything. The critical question for psychoanalysts is not how to establish intersubjectivity.9 At any one time. and that choice influences what unfolds. generating irony. There is no need for positing an additional space. etc. speak the truth. Peirce states over and over that all thinking is dialogical. the necessary conditions for continuing intersubjectivity always exist. . brief. He says that we should not say we have thoughts but. (p. make an appeal (Bühler 1934). Peirce does not spend much time discussing relations between speaker and hearer because his writing is normative and idealistic. how to understand what went wrong that turned intersubjective dialogues into fixed dyadic object relations. but.. nonambiguous. and you must do the same for me. as Bion (2005) says. that we are in thought since thinking is an activity or a process (as are memory. So what of nonnormative.

the violation itself generates meaning. what is the appeal? Both patient and analyst may seek out certainty by anchoring &dquo.I&dquo. sharing her intentionality and her perspective. For it is in the actualities of the analytic setting. and Migone 2007). in the countertransference.I&dquo. and &dquo. in our clinical experiences. but may be seen more generally in our work with transference.you&dquo. that unique opportunities arise for learning about the second person. for another &dquo.. We know from work on mirror neurons that your actions are experienced simultaneously as mine. a situation Aron describes in &dquo. and mine as yours (see Gallese. are less distinctly separate or certain. Who is speaking and to whom? Toward what effect-what are we trying to do here? What is the attitude. and &dquo.. we find that &dquo.) also remembers her infant-self (as an &dquo.analytic impasses&dquo. to a specific subject and object: &dquo. . or as another &dquo.you&dquo. especially the earliest dialogues that establish our shared and private worlds. Unlike laws that describe physical phenomena. &dquo.Looking would be too aggressive for you. ~ (2006. Aron All discourse is rule-governed.).I&dquo. We are forced to ask ourselves.) being looked at by her mother (as a &dquo.when my meaning is closed to you and yours to me. with its demand to abandon normative conversational maxims.1~ Investigating why our patients reject the conversational demands of the analytic setting or resist the indeterminacy of the present dialogue.you&dquo. that the relations between speaker and hearer can become truly visible (as with Smith’s patient). Rather. in the transference.I&dquo. &dquo.&dquo. However. but also of deontological ethics: what is good or bad. and rules become most obvious when they are 10 violated. indeterminate. as we ask our patients.. citing Reis) describes such a situation: a mother (as an &dquo. gazing at the mother.you&dquo. follows her line of regard and her gesture. These are the origins of joint reference and predication (epistemic knowledge). which must be changed when violated.I&dquo.I wonder if this is how you felt when your brother was bom&dquo.. Eagle.You sound just like my mother&dquo. and fantasy? It is here. desirable or prohibited. We experience that insistence when we find ourselves cast as another &dquo. &dquo.That’s just what my father used to do&dquo. the violation of social rules does not change the rule. we come up against their insistence on maintaining speaker-hearer relations from past dialogues. The infant.) looking at her infant (her &dquo.I&dquo. if we look at past dialogues.you&dquo. 1142 ’ ’ ’ THE E EARLIEST DIALOGUES S . symptom.

g. contingent responses. and &dquo. addressing &dquo. the preponderant emphasis the visual and behavioral 12 on in Schore (1994). the subject &dquo. .I.I&dquo. in analysis. it is not clear where an idea is bom (as Bion notes) because it was not clear.I&dquo.-that will make the underlying ambiguities seem far clearer than they really are.shifters&dquo. feelings. for example. (for whom?). In other words. Academic research on the earliest dialogues has had little impact the psychoanalytic literature when compared to the influence of mother-child interactional studies. may be one result of this preference for the visual over the verbal. There is no human language that does not contain these pronouns (and only human languages do contain them).I&dquo. &dquo.you&dquo. Green (1996) suggested that the importation of findings from observational methodologies has had the effect of shifting our clinical emphasis from listening to seeing.-that have no meaning apart from the dialogue. The latter focus on observed behaviors such as attachment patterns. In addition.who has the right to set the rules and what my obligations are (Litowitz 2005). &dquo.. speaks with an unwarranted confidence in its unity and originality.&dquo.you&dquo. Ana-Maria Rizzuto is one writer who has emphasized the importance of language for psychoanalytic practice.&dquo..you&dquo. rules. because what the child hears is always reversed: he is always addressed as &dquo. by another who refers to herself as &dquo.I&dquo.Look here&dquo. Among psychoanalysts. They have been called &dquo. etc.Don’t look there&dquo.you&dquo. 1143 .&dquo.That’s too much excitement&dquo. is always the one who is speaking and &dquo.you. and other writers have now begun to make similar observations about the recent turn away from language in psychoon analysis (Vivona 2006). &dquo. are these? Do they belong to the infants. tinguish See. or both? Later. and &dquo. only human languages mark the time and duration of events. It takes normal children almost three years to master these little words-&dquo. rather than on dialogic factors (see. when he speaks to &dquo. the mothers.12 A tendency to view the second person as an object in a dyad. e. rather than as a second person in a dialogue. &dquo. yet he must learn to refer to himself as &dquo. (Jakobson 1957) because &dquo.&dquo.. and social referencing (Mayes and Spence 1994)..you.This is worth looking at&dquo. Whose thoughts. Ultimately the child will acquire the personal pronouns-&dquo. The constantly shifting referent may explain the lengthy acquisition time.I&dquo. even in our beginnings. Litowitz 2005). the one addressed. values. and dis11 these from the time and duration of their narration.

but that this insight was lost when das ich became ego (1993.you&dquo. I have indicated above that we do not create the relations 13 between speakers and hearers-children are born into those-but that the clinical situation is ideally suited to bring to light their hidden psychical factors. and he called that aspect of the communication transference. p. One is &dquo. In the years since Freud. He said that &dquo. addressing his patient.expressly connecting the role of personal pronouns to their source in early infant-caretaker communications. of the two dialogic contributions in the analytic setting was Heinrich Racker (1968. 536-537). is &dquo.equality&dquo. 136).&dquo.me&dquo.’I’ and ’you’ entered the analytic field in the first second an analytic field was created. like so many hidden psychical factors&dquo. (2003).I. This position. to an &dquo.&dquo. By contrast.you&dquo. In articulating the analyst’s experience. 132). . Racker differentiated two countertransference experiences. 135). a speaking &dquo.13 When Freud realized that the doctor is also das ich. Freud realized rather quickly that the patient’s ich is always addressed to another. which he understood is not unique to the analytic setting.I&dquo.an object relationship very like many others. (p. Racker explains. pp.complementary identifications. in the present context of analysis. which he describes in object-relational terminology as the analyst’s identification with the patient’s projected internal object (p. In the same way. her doctor. 117). a real ’transference’ in which the analyst ’repeats’ previous experiences&dquo. transforms the subject from a &dquo. She claims that &dquo. is equally transformed because any unitary referent for the pronouns is always problematic.&dquo.psychoanalytic treatment does not create transferences. I have tried to show that the analyst as subject. in the past. Racker distinguishes a second type of countertransference experience. (Freud 1905. we have come to realize that these terms differ only in virtue of whose ich (patient’s or doctor’s) is our focus. he called that aspect of the communication countertransference.transference-countertransference. it merely brings them to light. Thus. One of the psychoanalytic writers who first brought our attention to the &dquo. talking about &dquo. As I have suggested. Rizzuto (2003) proposes that the analyst’s use of &dquo. the gap between the patient’s and the analyst’s contributions to the dialogue has become closed.&dquo. again increasingly represented iconically by the hyphenated &dquo.. p. By contrast. ’ 1144 E TRANSFERENCE-COUNTERTRANSFERENCE .

of the subject and the object&dquo. identifications as &dquo.-t. However. between &dquo. in a certain sense annuls the ’object relationship’. Racker claims that when the analyst rejects concordant identifications with the patient. properly speaking.. inner world that is experienced only by itself (by definition. subjective) and whose experience is opaque to the other.disposition to empathy-that is.you. or what Kohut. ~~- i~’«.&dquo. CONCLUDING REMARKS of course there are two bodily persons in the . an empathic openness. writing in different times and within different traditions. Racker describes these &dquo. 135).this part of you is I&dquo.. words. Goldberg. the object relation is a defense against maintaining a permeability. use different vocabularies whose terms embody dialogues with their significant others. &dquo. . 135). and Omstein would recommend as an empathic stance.which he calls &dquo.e..g.. Psychoanalysis is unique among the In the analytic dialogue.this part of me is you&dquo.. Aron. they do not address the particularities of the speech event or how one makes the ambiguities and fluctuations of its anchorings the topic of joint reference. 136).psychological contents that arise in the analyst by reason of the empathy achieved with the patient and that really reflect and reproduce the latter’s psychological contents&dquo.concordant (or homologous) identifications&dquo. object relations) arise and become fixed and intensified (p. (p. complementary identifications (i. each with its own 1145 . room. B-.. (p. . and &dquo. While other dyadic approaches understand that there must be another person. 134). and &dquo. or what Peirce describes as being in two places at one time. These authors.same-as&dquo. and semiotic mediation as the second person. affect states) that are tied through indices to the present context but also reveal other contexts.. This &dquo. and there arises in its stead the approximate union or identity between the various parts . By contrast. through dialogue one can create points of joint reference-a place to start-out of shared expressions of experience (e. .. ’ . I have cast the problem of the second person in the vocabulary of dialogue. In other words. (p. to concordant identification. communication. . It would seem that Racker’s complementary countertransference is similar to Benjamin’s complementarity (discussed above) and that Racker’s recommendation to maintain a disposition to empathy-the you in the I and the I in the you-is what Benjamin.&dquo.I&dquo. and others attempt to establish in proposing a third space. gestures.

I conclude by returning to a point I mentioned at the start: our focus on the second person makes interdisciplinary research difficult. we psychoanalysts must find ways to articulate questions that cognitive even (and especially not) . but &dquo. The &dquo. Some writers feel. for example. 316). can distinguish past from present tense.talking&dquo. with its focus on transference-countertransference.curious relationship between quantum phenomena and classical language&dquo. Such a state or place does not exist. addressing a specific &dquo. that we can never demonstrate how a distributed mind functions in an individual brain. or different categories (Bailey). not pursuing an ideal of a co-constructed reality (the third) outside our individual subjectivities. .sciences in its exploration of the vicissitudes of those contextual ties. The analytic setting. Although some theorists debate whether &dquo.our interpretation of experimental material rests essentially on the classical concepts&dquo. 304).cure. is necessary for a &dquo. ’ our &dquo. Rather. (Pais 1991. Every act of speaking involves a specific &dquo. can debate for whom looking is or was exciting. was a problem.complementarity&dquo.I&dquo.you&dquo. as Heisenberg said. That is our goal. That is. physicists found ways to ask quantum questions that classical measures could demonstrate. We can recall that Bohr’s solution was not to propose a hyphenated &dquo. as Niels Bohr said in his 1927 Como lecture. because &dquo. However.&dquo. struggling to describe phenomena with a vocabulary that. freed from their internal contradictions and distortions. 310).the classical description of physical phenomena is based entirely on the idea that the phenomena may be observed without disturbing them appreciably&dquo. (p. illuminates meaning-making contexts that reveal these speaker-hearer relations and orientations. Whatever we do or say is an act of communication that repeats and establishes meaning. &dquo. embracing our unique focus on the second person. Similarly. . only by using language can we turn our speech itself into a joint referent so that you and I can talk about you and me. different domains of discourse (Goldberg).didn’t fit&dquo. talking is necessary for generating our data because only language (not action) has the capacity for selfreference.&dquo. These are different worlds (Popper). not 1146 in infancies (Litowitz 2005). in a specific spatiotemporal context. I recall an earlier time of paradox when the concept of &dquo.mind-brain.wave-particle. Other writers eliminate the difference and close the gap with the hyphenated &dquo. p. was first introduced by physicists in the 1930s.&dquo. (p. and can perhaps arrive for a moment at a reality sufficiently shared for us to learn something new.

(1992). Standard Edition 14:243-258. K. V (1989). L. Analytic impasse and the third: Clinical implications of inter- subjectivity theory. BENJAMIN. &mdash. Project for a scientific psychology.neuroscientists can demonstrate using their third-person methodologies. Bright Air. Emerson & M. As with mirror neurons and Harlow’s monkeys with their surrogate mothers. Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilized Society. J. Text. How to Do Things with Words. DAMASIO. (1962). Reason. (1969). The Dialogic Imagination. Brilliant Fire. C. I suspect that research generated by psychoanalytic data will require conspecific subjects in a dyad both working collaboratively and resisting collaboration-that is. Mourning and melancholia. A. DELGADO. (1895). & FREUD. J. Fragment of an analysis of a case of hysteria. BREUER. CRAPANZANO. Remembering. in an analytic dialogue. That is. 1147 . This is why Freud and Lacan are so often quoted by academics. Descartes’Error: Emotion. (1934). J. But when clinicians emphasize that the dream is addressed to someone. (1895). Green 14 (1999) dismisses - the relevance of infant research for psychoanalysts by saying: "it’s either the child or the dream" (p. transl. COLAPIETRO. BION. J. (1914). AUSTIN. The Tavistock Seminars (1976-1979). S. Standard Edition 2. Sprachtheorie. EDELMAN. &mdash. then transference and the second person enter in and common ground is harder to find. we have common ground with the humanities. (1917). G. Beyond doer and done to: An intersubjective view of thirdness. transference and indexicality. Holquist. (2006). S. As long as the dream or the patient is viewed as a text.14 ’ ’ REFERENCES ARON. (2004). W.L.. Jena: Fischer Verlag. FREUD. Studies on hysteria. 50). Standard Edition 1:281-397. Peirce’s Approach to the Self: A Semiotic Perspective on Human Subjectivity. M. (1905). (2005). New York: Basic Books.HLER. V (1981). New York: Harper & Row. Ethos 9:122-148. Standard Edition 12:147-156. Standard Edition 7:7-122. B&Uuml. you either observe the baby or listen to the dream. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 87:349-368. Psychoanalytic Quarterly 73:5-46. repeating and working-through. New York: Oxford University Press. Austin: University of Texas Press. Albany: SUNY Press. &mdash. New York: Putnam. and the Human Brain. New York: Karnac Books. BAKHTIN. The situation is similar for the humanities and social sciences. (1994). (1981).

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VIVONA. Development of superego autonomy. 3rd ed. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 49:781-812. Analyzing disavowed action: The fundamental resistance of analysis. G. The American Psychoanalyst 40(1):16. (2006b). 1958. TICHO. From developmental metaphor to developmental model: The shrinking role of language in the talking cure. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 54:713-737.E. Anscombe. H.M. Cultural aspects of transference and countertransference. New York: Macmillan. TICHO. G. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 54:877-902. (1971). Philosophical Investigations. (1971). SMITH. WITTGENSTEIN. 31-23. Psychoanalytic Review 59:217-233. L. 180 North Michigan Avenue #2220 Chicago.York: Cambridge University Press. E. J. &mdash. transl. &mdash. Hearing voices: The fate of the analyst’s identifications. (2006a). Interpreting transference action. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic 35:313-334. (2006). (2001). (1953).com 1149 . IL 60601 E-mail: belitowitz@aol.