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Self-KnowledgeA History$
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Ursula Renz

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190226411

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190226411.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 January 2021

Self-Knowledge as Freedom in Schopenhauer and Freud

Self-Knowledge as Freedom in Schopenhauer and Freud

(p.223) Chapter twelve Self-Knowledge as Freedom in Schopenhauer and Freud

Bernard Reginster

Oxford University Press

The chapter examines, compares, and contrasts the views on self-knowledge developed by Schopenhauer and Freud because they display some broad, if superficial, similarities. Both philosophers reject the Cartesian notion that self-knowledge—primarily, the knowledge of one’s own mental states—is immediate and indubitable because of the existence of unconscious mental states. They therefore take self-knowledge to be a genuine achievement. They also accept the broadly Socratic idea that self-knowledge is an ethical imperative, insofar as it is necessary to achieve a desirable existential state, which they both describe as a kind of freedom. They argue that self-knowledge is not just a necessary means for achieving freedom, but is also in some sense constitutive of it. Finally, both take self-knowledge to be constitutive of freedom only if it is living self-knowledge.

Keywords:   self-knowledge, unconscious, freedom, living knowledge, first-person self-knowledge, third-person self-knowledge

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