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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton January 14, 2021

Double consciousness to scaffold narrative skills

A Peircean developmental perspective

Donna E. West
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies


Determining the utility of auditory hallucinations (including imaginary friends) in developing logic is sorely under-investigated (Fernyhough, Charles. 2016. The voices within: The history and science of how we talk to ourselves. New York: Basic Books). The present account demonstrates how Peirce’s double consciousness fueled by his endoporeutic principle, provides insight into how abduction directs adopting arguments from one source while dismissing others. Peirce’s categories provide hints as to which voices become admitted to logical scrutiny, and which are validated – consequent to irritations imposed by surprise/conflict. Effort/resistance (4.536) clearly illustrates how Secondness legitimizes emerging perspectives, facilitating examination of peripheral voices, which can be competitive (MS 9) or collaborative (4.551). Peirce’s Energetic and Emotional Interpretants (MS 318) impel or inhibit new habits (attention to one stimulus over another). Consciously inhibiting forces hastens self-control (Thirdness) integrating voices on the fringes of conventionality into one’s own (MS 318). Ultimately, incorporating alterity via imagined arguments satisfies Peirce’s endoporeutic maxim because reflecting upon the legitimacy of alien perspectives transforms habits from the outside in.

Corresponding author: Donna E. West, Department of Modern Languages, State University of New York at Cortland, Cortland, USA, e-mail:


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Published Online: 2021-01-14
Published in Print: 2021-02-23

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