Introduction: Imaginary

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For Lacan the imaginary is one fo the three orders that structure human existence, the others being the symbolic and the real.

In the mirror stage, the hcild identifies with the specular iamge, and this inaugurates the series of identifications that will consturct the ego.

The child is literally captivated by a specular other thanks to an identification which is also an alienation.

The imaginary is thus the realm in which self and other merge, and in which identity is grounded in a mere semblance of unity.

The imaginary is not a stage which is overcome or transcended, and is a cosntant presence in the lives of human subjects.

Lacan's concept of the Imaginary first appeared in his 1936 paper "The Mirror Stage".

The imaginary arises from the infant's experience of its specular ego.

It arises with the mirror stage but extends far into the adult individual's experience of others and of the external world.