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Self-Knowledge – A History - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Self-Knowledge: A History

Ursula Renz


The acquisition of self-knowledge is often described as one of the main goals of philosophical inquiry. At the same time, some sort of self-knowledge is often regarded as a necessary condition of our being a human agent or human subject. Thus self-knowledge is taken to constitute both the beginning and the end of humans’ search for wisdom, and as such it is intricately bound up with the very idea of philosophy. Not surprisingly therefore, the Delphic injunction “Know thyself” has fascinated philosophers of different times, backgrounds, and tempers. But how can we make sense of this imperative? ... More

Keywords: self-knowledge, Socratic self-knowledge, Delphic injunction, wisdom, human nature, agency, self

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190226411
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190226411.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ursula Renz, editor
Professor of Philosophy, University of Klangenfurt, Austria

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