There is no concept of more importance to an individual's sense of recognition than the idea of self-love. Self-love helps one to better theorize recognition because it provides necessary contexts, reasoning and often difficulty to measure individuality in the topic of recognition. Self-love helps to define recognition because it provides one with an understanding of how and what has created our own relationship to ourself. This means that we view the world through and by how much and how well we feel about ourselves. If we are to take recognition to denote the transformation of something that is already known into something that is valid, self-love must be properly considered as a foremost concept of self identity within the concept of recognition. Recognition is limited by how it is interpreted by the individuals who live within a given political structure. Recognition is, therefore, an essential component of the political construction of identities, as much as it is a component of the construction of the identity of the individual. Definitions are reliant upon comprehension of the terms and concepts that inspire to build them; thus, a proper understanding of self-love is critically necessary. Here, self-love as an "umbrella term" that can be understood as the components that create one's self-identity. This is how one thinks of himself in terms of self-esteem, identity, skills, recognition from others and contribution to society. For each person, how these variables work to determine the amount of love that we profess unto ourselves varies. Self-love should not be understood as a form of narcissism; although both are internalized qualities that become externalized by our actions toward others. Still, self-love is significantly essential to the idea of self identity as well. Thus, self-love is weaved throughout all of one's combined concepts of individual recognition.
[...] Under this model, recognition helps us to actualize self-love because once we achieve public recognition (in any form,) our sense of and pride within ourselves increases, which means that our self-love improves. (Neuhouser 2008, 111). From a political standpoint, this is a strong and advantageous in that it causes development forward. Collectively, what we call recognition is an instigator for progress. Self-love remains such a valid contributor to this because it is the most personal of our traits, thus making it the most difficult to achieve and the easiest to lose. Self- love must be reinforced, continuously, which means that we are also redefining recognition. [...]
[...] Upon seeing this value played out with concrete grander value to the society as a whole, self-love and, therefore, a deeper concept of recognition, develops. This can also work in the converse. Finally, in legality, according to Hegel's model, the system is of primary and ultimate importance, not the individual. This means that order and formality are valued above all else. In essence, this would allow civil societies to work on a plane of pure equality, wherein we often know that this is not the case. [...]
[...] What this indicates is that as all of these concepts must work together, fluidly, to create an idea of what recognition means for each culture, they are also changing and must respond to redefinition as it arises. As Fraser and Honneth describe in their writing on unintended effects of identity politics, what the needs of a certain political climate are, help to assign value to politics. Thus, if a society, for example, chooses to redistribute wealth that is because there is a need for a better equalization of economics within that specific society. [...]
[...] As recognition is not achieved once and held onto for life, it is necessary for individuals to repeatedly seek renewed recognition, which means that self-love must also be continuously renewed. It is this never-ending cycle that makes these issues so very essential for the individual as well as for the political whole. Recognition is such a pressing issue in our current political constellation because without recognition we are not able to define nor to describe what we demand from political life in the public space. [...]
[...] To understand human individuality and to understand the unique specificity of the human condition, as it is unlike the animal one, we must dedicate proper attention to those areas of reason that so clearly separate us as the most highly developed beings on the planet. We are compelled by others to be something more than what we are. We look to and we rely upon the approval and recognition of the other. Self-love is the internalized emotion that is attached to this idea, but it is very much a construction of the social space. [...]
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