Editorial 5: I and Self (Welby, Lacan)

  • Jan M. BroekmanEmail author
  • Larry Catá Backer


This 5th editorial text introduces a never observed but most striking parallel between the ways of thinking and thought formation of Lady Vistoria Welby and her significs project, and the French psychoanalyst and philosopher Jacques Lacan. The major focus in those parallels is on their ideas about the human Self and the Occidental culture, which cherishes these Self-thoughts as evident, natural and essential in human existence. Lady Welby connected the idea of sign with the concept of identity, in particular the Self as a predominant social issue. Lacan underlined the Self as an emerging moment in early life, and focused on what he called the ‘mirror-stage’ in each life.

A particular relevance for legal semiotics seems obvious, if one considers the various components involved. The first is Lady Welby’s own and Lacan’s emphasis on the Self and the way Law qualifies this Self as a subject-property; the second the importance of human beings as continuously involved in processes of engenderment, and the third is a general conclusion on the basic thought pattern of Occidental culture, which is the drive to dissect and analyze whatever type of reality seems at stake.


Legal Discourse Human Identity Final Chapter Expressive Speech Mirror Stage 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dickinson School of LawPenn State UniversityCarlisleUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Law and International AffairsPenn State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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