Metaphilosophy 46 (4-5):539-554 (2015)

Anna E. Mudde
University of Regina
Reflection names the central activity of Western philosophical practice; the mirror and its attendant metaphors of reflection are omnipresent in the self-image of Western philosophy and in metaphilosophical reflection on reflection. But the physical experiences of being reflected by glass mirrors have been inadequately theorized contributors to those metaphors, and this has implications not only for the self-image and the self of philosophy but also for metaphilosophical practice. This article begins to rethink the metaphor of reflection anew. Paying attention to the history of the glass mirror in Europe reveals and challenges the modern emergence of clear ontological distinctions between disembodied subjects and the objects of their knowledge, and suggests a compelling terrain of metaphilosophical analysis. On the reading offered by the article, the inherent complexity of the relationship between selves and their mirror images, a complexity mediated by social location, historical situation, and particular projects, points to significant spaces of unknowing, of indeterminacy, and of ontological ambiguity.
Keywords reflection  selfhood  privilege  objectivity  self‐knowledge  philosophy  mirror  seeing
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DOI 10.1111/meta.12153
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Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.Richard Rorty - 1979 - Princeton University Press.

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