The mirror of transparency. A metaphor as conceptual tool relating science and culture: mirror neurons

Author/s Giulia Frezza
Publishing Year 2012 Issue 2012/1 Language Italian
Pages 12 P. 127-138 File size 1522 KB
DOI 10.3280/RSF2012-001008
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The author examines the visual-motor hypothesis of the "mirror neuron mechanism", and highlights how the word "mirror" is metaphorically used in this field to account for an instantaneous and evident recognition of the action performed by others. In contrast, in the present analysis - focused on the intersection between philosophy, literature and psychology - the "culture of the mirror", as "recognition of the other", appears non-linear, problematic and intermittent. It is precisely in the "metaphor of the mirror", a current commonplace cultural object, that one finds examples of the process of recognition, that the neuroscientific hypothesis of the mirror neuron mechanism seems to elude through its linear approach. A metaphor, far from obstructing intelligibility, should be a basic epistemological tool to bring to light the continuous and complex interactions between everyday experience, culture and science.

Keywords: Mirror neurons, metaphor, metaphor and science, interaction, recognition.

Giulia Frezza, Lo specchio della trasparenza. La metafora come strumento concettuale tra scienza e cultura e il caso dei neuroni specchio in "RIVISTA SPERIMENTALE DI FRENIATRIA" 1/2012, pp 127-138, DOI: 10.3280/RSF2012-001008