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N. 1 (2022)

Looking at oneself in the mirror of the others. Modelisation and implications of a study on human reflexivity starting from semiotics and psychoanalysis

22 June 2022


The mirror is a very widespread tool in human life. It works as an optical device that recreates the image of an object placed in front of it. The relation of the human being with the mirror is very important: we find a pervasiveness and diffusion of mirrors in everyday life, but also in stories and legends, in folklore and mythology. At a certain step of his development, the child is able to recognise himself in the reflected image of a mirror. We observe a strong cultural intra-subjective and inter-subjective recursivity in the construction of the mirroring experience as a model of truth and lie, identity and otherness, knowledge and ignorance. Starting from the debate between two semioticians – Umberto Eco and Juri Lotman – on the semiotic value of the mirror, the authors develop the topic of reflexivity as a psychic process by examining it in the light of various psychoanalytic contributions. Reflexivity and the psychodynamic relationship with one’s own reflected image are developed by centralising the importance of an ongoing and deeply dialogic process between identity and otherness, continuity and transformation.

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