by Augusto Ponzio

The Dialogic Nature of Signs

Course Description

We may define “dialogue” as external or internal discourse where the word of the other, not necessarily of another person, interferes with one’s own word. It is also a genre of discourse. Philosophers such as Charles S. Peirce and Mikhail Bakhtin consider dialogue as the modality itself of thought.
A distinction must be drawn between purely substantial dialogism – or substantial dialogicality – and purely formal dialogism – or formal dialogicality.
Substantial dialogism is not determined by the dialogic form of the text, i. e. formal dialogism, but by the degree of dialogism in that text which may or may not assume the form of a dialogue. In other words, substantial dialogism is determined by the higher or lower degree of opennes towards alterity.


  1. Dialogue and Alterity – part 1 (PDF)Dialogue and dialogism: formal and substantial dialogue
  2. Dialogue and Alterity – part 2 (PDF)Dialogue in “dialogue genre”, external and internal discourse, utterance, and individual word
  3. Dialogue and Sign – part 1 (PDF)The sign as something which calls for a certain response, according to another something, i. e. the interpretant
  4. Dialogue and Sign – part 2 (PDF)The sign is firstly an interpretant, that is, a response
  5. Logic as Dia-logic (PDF)a. Alterity and dialogism in semiosis and argumentation b. Degrees of alterity in deduction, induction and abduction
  6. Dialogism and Biosemiosis – part 1 (PDF)Dialogism, modeling and communication in semiosis
  7. Dialogism and Biosemiosis – part 2 (PDF)Bakhtinian dialogism and biosemiosis
  8. For a Critique of Dialogic Reason (PDF)a. Dialogue and dialectics b. Dialogism in Bodies and Signs
  9. Bibliography (PDF)

Augusto Ponzio | Biography