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idÈal du moi)
Lacan, however, argues that these three 'formations of the ego' are each quite distinct concepts which must not be confused with one another.
In his pre-war writings [[Lacan]] is mainly concerned to establish a distinction between the [[ego-ideal]] and the [[superego]], and does not refer to the [[ideal ego]].
Although both the [[ego-ideal]] and the [[superego]] are linked with the decline of the [[Oedipus complex]], and both are products of [[identification]] with the [[father]], [[Lacan]] argues that they represent different aspects of the [[father]]'s dual role.
The [[superego]] is an [[unconscious]] [[agency]] whose function is to [[repression|repress]] [[sexuality|sexual]] [[desire]] for the [[mother]], whereas the [[ego-ideal]] exerts a [[conscious]] pressure towards [[sublimation]] and provides the coordinates which enable the [[subject]] to take up a sexual position as a man or woman.<ref>
(Lacan, 1938: 59-62)</ref> In his post-war writings [[Lacan pays]] more attention to distinguishing the [[ego-ideal]] from the [[ideal ego]] (Fr. ''moi idÈal''). Thus in the 1953-4 seminar, he develops the [[optical model]] to distinguish between these two formations. He argues that the [[ego-ideal]] is a [[symbolic]] [[introjection]], whereas the ideal ego is the source of an imaginary projection.<ref> (see S8 , 414)</ref> The [[ego-ideal]] is the [[signifier]] operating as ideal, an internalised plan of the [[law]], the guide governing the [[subject]]'s position in the [[symbolic]] [[order]], and hence anticipates secondary (Oedipal) [[identification]] (Sl, 141) or is a product of that [[identification]] (Lacan, 1957-8 ).
The [[ideal ego]], on the other hand, originates in the [[specular image]] of the [[mirror stage]]; it is a promise of future synthesis towards which the [[ego]] tends, the [[illusion]] of unity on which the [[ego]] is built.
of perfection that the ego strives to emulate. For Freud, the ego -ideal is closely bound up with our super-ego. The super-ego is "the vehicle of the ego ideal by which the ego measures itself, which it emulates, and whose demand for ever greater perfection it strives to fulfil" ("New Introductory Lectures" 22.65). Given the intimate connection of the super- ego to the Oedipus complex, the ego-ideal is likely "the precipitate of the old picture of the parents, the expression of admiration for the perfection which the child then attributed to them" ("New Introductory Lectures" 22.65). It is also tied up with childhood narcissism (the belief in one's own perfection), which in adulthood can take as its substitute the perfection of the ego-ideal. Ego-Ideal and "ideal ego"(Lacan): Lacan makes a distinction between the "ideal ego" and the "ego ideal," the former of which he associates with the imaginary order, the latter of which he associates with the symbolic order. Lacan's "ideal ego" is the ideal of perfection that the ego strives to emulate; it first affected the subject when he saw himself in a mirror during the mirror stage, which occurs around 6-18 months of age (see the Lacan module on psychosexual development). Seeing that image of oneself established a discord between the idealizing image in the mirror (bounded, whole, complete) and the chaotic reality of the one's body between 6-18 months, thus setting up the logic of the imaginary's fantasy construction that would dominate the subject's psychic life ever after. For Lacan, the "ego-ideal," by contrast, is when the subject looks at himself as if from that ideal point; to look at oneself from that point of perfection is to see one's life as vain and useless. The effect, then, is to invert one's "normal" life, to see it as suddenly repulsive.
concept of the ego ideal appeared for the first time in Sigmund Freud's "On Narcissism: An Introduction" ( 1914c) . The ego ideal takes the place of the narcissism lost during childhood and promises the possible realization of narcissism in the future. Freud's concept of the ego ideal provided support for other, earlier concepts, such as moral conscience, censorship, and self-esteem, and made possible an original understanding of the formation of a mass movement and its relationship to a leader ( 1921c).