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Chiasmi International

Volume 22, 2020

Mirrors and Other Technologies

Simon Glynn
Pages 119-133

From Reificatory Reflection, via Reflective Recognition of Consciousness to Reflective Choice of Identity

Taking its point of departure from Husserl’s recognition that consciousness is intentional, and Sartre’s concomitant non-reificatory notion of consciousness, understood therefore as not a thing, or as nothingness, definitive of human identity, the article proceeds by asking how, if this is so, is it possible to become conscious of consciousness, which is to say reflectively self-conscious. Explicating the relationship between the reflective mirroring of the Self to the Self, as reflected in “the look of the Other,” and the self’s unmediated or immediate self-recognition, the article proceeds to evaluate each, before providing reasons for the perhaps somewhat startling conclusion that it is our view of the world that is apt to reflect our most authentic image of ourselves to us. While exploring the implications of this, the article concludes by investigating the role of intellectual or rational reflection in ensuring our freedom of choice, and consequent responsibility, for who we choose to be.