specular image (image spÈculaire) When Lacan talks about the
specular image, he is referring to the reflection of one's own body in the
mirror, the image of oneself which is simultaneously oneself and OTHER (the
'little other'). It is by identifying with the specular image that the human baby
-first begins to construct hiS EGo in the MIRROR STAGE. Even when there is no real
irror, the baby sees its behaviour reflected in the imitative gestures of an
adult or another child; these imitative gestures enable the other person to
function as a specular image. The human being is completely captivated by
he specular image: this is the basic reason for the power of the imaginary in
Ahe subject, and explains why man projects this image of his body onto all
-ether objects in the world around him (see Lacan, 1975b; see CAPTATION).
- There are certain things which have no specular image, which are not
'specularisable'. These are the phallus, the erogenous zones, and objet petit a.