Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek                      

 S - Self-knowledge


Self-knowledge: Knowledge of self, often recommended, as in the Greek "Know Thyself!" (gnoti auton), and often denied as possible, e.g. by Buddhists and skeptics.

Self-knowledge is often said to be difficult or impossible, but a man who insists on this must be speaking of a deeper self-knowledge than is common, for every adult who functions in some society has enough self-control and enough relevant knowledge to be a member of society, wholly apart from whatever deep philosophical questions he may raise about his ultimate character or deepest motives.

And it is also worth mentioning that every human being experiences himself or herself foremost as a feeling, believing and desiring thing, and experiences most other human beings foremost as physical bodies.

Indeed, normally we experience our own interiors and not our exteriors, and experience the exteriors of others and not their interiors. And this is quite literally so, also as regards the sources we use: Our own brain for ourselves; sensations produced by bodies for other people.


See also: Egoism, Expectation, Person, Perspective, Personal Perspectives, Role, Self-control



 Original: Sep 14, 2007                                                Last edited: 12 December 2011.   Top