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The Stuff Of Theory- Unique Identity (Essay Sample)


Paper 2: The Stuff of Theory (3–4 pages)
The theories we will be discussing in class develop in reaction to objects, architectures, and infrastructures as much as to people. The second paper asks you to focus on one of the significant objects discussed in class so far: the mirror (Lacan), the prison (Foucault), the camp (Agamben), the skyscraper and the street (de Certeau and Lefebvre), the letter and the trace (Derrida). The goal is to explain critical theory through this object and how the author uses the object to make a larger point about social life.
For this paper I would like to talk about Lacan. Plz read files which I uploaded.
Also following reading are very useful:
Freud, “A Note on the Unconscious in Psychoanalysis,” 10–15; Lacan, “The Mirror Stage,” 57–62; Lacan, “A Materialist Definition of the Phenomenon of Consciousness,” 40–53 (PDF)


The Stuff of Theory 
Date of Submission
The Stuff of Theory 
Lucanian mirror stage is a psychoanalytic development stage of an infant where an infant between the ages of six and eighteen months begins to recognize itself in a mirror. This stage is the onset of recognition as “I” by one’s self. The infant begins to comprehend themselves as separate individuals. An individual’s ego starts to manifest at this stage. The stage is very critical as the sense of individual self is being established. The process of developing a person’s unique identity from others is initiated as soon as the recognition of self is manifested ("Jacques Lacan (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy),"). Although an infant develops their character, they are still dependent on other images.
Lacan in his paper titled Some reflection of the Ego in1953 states that “The mirror stage is a phenomenon to which I assign a twofold value in the first place, it has historical value, and it marks a decisive turning-point in the mental development of the child. In the second place, it typifies an essential libidinal relationship with the body image.” According to Lacan infants recognizes an "Ideal-I" during the mirror stage since they visualise themselves as independent identities and as whole beings utterly separate from others. The mirror image also presents to the infants a frictional circumstance where whatever the infant's view will never correspond to what they experience or feel. The conflict that exists between what the infants see and their actual inner feelings and experiences usually splits the ego of the individual. Individuals thus typically spend their whole lives trying to close the rift that exists between the experienced self and ideal image. This task is never achieved in a person's life according to Lacan. The child usually makes an anticipatory judgment after viewing the image perceiving it to be stronger as compared to the unrealistic function as the subject.
When the individual's experiences and understand the concept of absence via language, they relate the lack with their mothers and the environment. The child no longer fills fulfilled, unified and protected by their mother. This acknowledgment of a mother's absence pushes the child towards their image to establish themselves as an entity of identity that does not lack anything. The looking for something to fulfil the void in a child's life will contin

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