Sunday, March 01, 2015

I have a paper due, and it's probably too late to get any substantive help... but, help.

Can someone help me out here?? French psychologist Jacques Lacan has this idea that infants go through a critical developmental stage when they first recognize the figure in the mirror as themselves. In theory, this unified image of the self is an "ideal" -- something toward which they will wage a sisyphean struggle for the rest of their lives.

What about pre-mirror societies?  What about mirrorless homes?  Or homes there the mirror does not reach the ground and they don't have this critical mirror-moment until their ego is already developed? Why is the mirrored self "ideal?" So a child recognizes themself in the mirror, aaaaannd they have been looking at the human form and identifying with it since their eyes could focus. So, why is the self in the mirror so ideal that above and beyond any previous engagement with the human form it informs the trajectory of their life from that moment forward??

I ask because a number of other theories build on Lacan's ideas and I'm calling total bullshit on all of it because I don't get it. This is some flimsy shit. Seriously, what am I missing?


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