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Jacobs, L. (2008). Dialogue, Confirmation, and the “Good”. Int. J. Psychoanal. Self Psychol., 3(4):409-431.

(2008). International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, 3(4):409-431

Recognizing Recognition in Self Psychology(Part 3)

Dialogue, Confirmation, and the “Good”

Lynne Jacobs, Ph.D., PSYD

Perhaps more than most psychological concepts, the concept of recognition is central to the most fundamental question: What does it mean to be human? Recognition underscores one of our basic ideas about being human; namely, that our selfhoods emerge from, are maintained within, and contribute to the shaping of our community of other human beings. However, I think the concept of recognition can also serve to illuminate a more hidden aspect of what it means to be human, what philosopher Charles Taylor calls a desire “to be rightly placed in relation to the good.” Our relationships to ourselves and others are transformed when we are recognized as orienting towards a “good.” I use phenomenological description and case examples to illustrate my thesis.

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