The Development of the Self Through the “Gift of the Self” or the Mutual Recognition

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Abstract

Human identity is a complex process linked to the subject and his environment, both constantly evolving. Personality is developed and changed throughout lifetime, but it has a core that remains constant.

Thus a person can secure his continuity; he recognizes himself and is recognized by the others as time goes by. In fact, we are all the same, even after experiencing changes and years later.

The constitution of the other and the self are – from the phenomenological point of view – two components of the same process, which is the origin of the subjectivity of self and the objectivity of me. These are conditions for the identity’s construction, a continuous process that takes place throughout time. (Ballerini, 2005)

Human tendency to the community emerges with priority from the above definition. That deep desire of being part of a social group interprets others as constituent of the identity of the self. (Pulcini, 2002)

“Having an identity” actually means not only a set of characteristics noticed by ourselves after actions done or the “image” of us, but also to be recognized by the rest of society. (Andrea, 2004)

Therefore, community turns out in the ultimate horizon that responds to an individual’s recognition need.

The recognition of self by me is linked to the issue of the recognition of self through the other until mutual recognition as reciprocal act is reached. (Ricoeur, 2005)

Hence, “gift” becomes an emblem of mutual recognition, highlighting the relational and inter-subjective structure of the person.

The identity development goes through the mutual recognition experience and gift. (Castiglioni, 2008)

Somebody who gives himself recognizes the others and simultaneously, participates in his constitution and his self-understanding.

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Journal for Perspectives of Economic Political and Social Integration

The Journal of John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Scientific Society KUL (Towarzystwo Naukowe KUL)

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